TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: You Are Exposed / When even the Privacy Commissioner's Cellphone

You Are Exposed / When even the Privacy Commissioner's Cellphone

Monty Solomon (
Mon, 28 Nov 2005 18:02:15 -0500

When even the privacy commissioner's cellphone records are available
online, we've all got security problems.

November 21, 2005

Jennifer Stoddart is a dedicated public servant who has spent years --
first working for the province of Quebec, and since 2003 as the
federal privacy commissioner -- trying to protect Canadians' personal
information from prying governments and greedy businesses. A lawyer by
trade, she has impeccable qualifications for the job, with a strong
background in constitutional law and human rights.

But there's a point to be made about the type of highly confidential
data that can be obtained by anyone with an Internet connection and a
credit card, and Stoddart has the misfortune of being the perfect
illustration. Not that she's pleased about it. Her eyes widen as she
recognizes what has just been dropped on the conference table in her
downtown Ottawa office -- detailed lists of the phone calls made from
her Montreal home, Eastern Townships' chalet, and to and from her
government-issued BlackBerry cellphone. Her mouth hangs open, and she
appears near tears. "Oh my God," she says finally. "I didn't realize
this was possible. This is really alarming."

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