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