- TORONTO - Your drivers licence
may be in your wallet, but its contents are available to the world.
- The Ontario government sells that personal information,
including home addresses and phone numbers -- and the Canadian Automobile
Association is calling on it to halt the practice.
- 'POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS'
- CAA spokesman David Leonhardt is worried that wide distribution
could put sensitive information into dangerous hands.
- "Stalkers, that sort of thing," he said. "This
practice leaves people open to possible harassment. It allows potentially
- The CAA has taken its concerns to Ontario's freedom of
information and privacy commission.
- "We have talked to them about it," Leonhardt
said. "We discussed our concerns."
- The commission is taking a close look at the situation,
spokesman Bob Spence said.
- "We have been talking to the (ministry) regarding
monitoring of their clients. We have a meeting next week," he said.
- But ministry official Bob Nichols said the province works
within privacy legislation, and is careful about who it does business with.
- "We take the protection of personal information
very seriously," he said.
- "There are legitimate business needs for information.
If a company meets those legitimate business needs, we enter into a contract.
If we find a breach, we can void and cancel the contracts," Nichols
- 'SMALL PERCENTAGE'
- Under the Authorized Requests Program, those businesses
include collection agents, insurance companies, private investigators and
law enforcement bodies. The transportation ministry raises $1 billion in
total revenues, $861 million of which comes from the licencing offices.
- "It (information sales) is a relatively small percentage
of overall revenue," Nichols said.