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Canadian Companies: Doing Privacy Right
Jeremy Faludi, 25 May 04

The Toronto Star recently reports on the differences between how Canadian firms handle customer privacy rights vs. US firms. The difference is apparently even sharper than you might think.

"The study, the first to compare the corporate privacy practices of comparable Canadian and U.S. firms, found that Canadian businesses see their privacy practices as an opportunity to improve relations with customers, while their U.S. counterparts viewed privacy measures more as a way of complying with legislation and avoiding civil lawsuits. ..."In Canada, I got the sense that they thought it was just the right thing to do."

"The study also found that Canadian companies were more likely to have dedicated privacy officers, resources, and training programs... About three-quarters of Canadian companies assigned a senior executive as their privacy officer, compared to half of U.S. companies..."

"...Canadian companies are more concerned with insider misuse of data and making sure third-party partners and suppliers respect privacy policies, whereas U.S. companies appear more focused on protecting data from outsiders, such as hackers. [ed note: most identity theft in the US is due to people authorized to see information misusing it, not hackers.]

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