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8th April 2009

Five-Country Study Finds Little Protection For Anonymity

Lessons From The Identity TrailOttawa – New technologies are shrinking our ability to protect our anonymity – a trend being reinforced by laws around the world, according to a new study by leading scholars from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Italy.

The study, unveiled today at a special event organized by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, reveals scant protection of anonymity and a growing preference for laws and policies requiring people to be identified.

For example, some retailers ask for and record identification such as a driver’s licence number when consumers return or exchange purchases. Personal information is being collected and stored more frequently and, in some cases, is disclosed to authorities without a person’s knowledge or approval.

“Driven by curiosity, humanity and a profound belief in the sanctity of the individual, a group of scholars from the University of Ottawa and around the globe set out to describe the state of privacy in Canada and around the world – today, and well into tomorrow,” says the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jennifer Stoddart.
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