Does it matter where your computer data such as email, digital photos, personal videos, and documents resides? The Canadian Chamber of Commerce apparently doesn’t think so. It recently joined forces with its U.S. counterpart to argue for new rules in the Trans Pacific Partnership – a proposed new trade agreement that includes Canada, the U.S., Japan, Australia and many other Asian and South American countries – that would create barriers to privacy protections designed to require that personal data be stored locally.
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that for many years, the issue was largely irrelevant to most computer users since their data was typically kept on computer hard drives within their own homes or offices. While there was always a security risk associated with malware or hackers, using reasonable security precautions provided some protection and there was little risk of warrantless access to the data.