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Saskatchewan eyes tougher health record privacy rules after breaches

REGINA - The Saskatchewan government plans to move ahead on four recommendations to help protect patient health information from snooping or when files are abandoned. The steps include creating a specific offence for when a worker unnecessarily accesses someone's health records and making providers show that they are trying to prevent records from being abandoned.

EU's top court nixes snooping legislation, strengthens privacy rights

BRUSSELS - The European Union's top court on Tuesday dealt a blow to law-enforcement agencies' spying on phone and internet records, saying the lives of citizens should not be "the subject of constant surveillance." The European Court of Justice scrapped EU legislation allowing the indiscriminate collection of such communication data in crime-fighting efforts, finding that the rules were too broad and offered too few privacy safeguards.

Internet providers get low transparency grades amid surveillance concerns

OTTAWA - Canada's Internet service providers are being less than forthcoming about how they handle customer information — including whether they routinely give personal data to spy agencies, says a new report. The report by University of Toronto researchers gives low marks to all 20 providers ranked in 10 categories of transparency.

Student loan data on half a million people was left unsecured: watchdog

OTTAWA - A portable hard drive containing personal information on more than half a million people who took out student loans was left unsecured for extended periods and lacked password protection and encryption, says the federal privacy czar. Employees handling the device were not aware of the sensitivity of the information it contained, concludes a report from interim privacy commissioner Chantal Bernier. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada acknowledged last year the drive held data on 583,000 Canada Student Loans Program borrowers from 2000 to 2006.

Ex-premier, privacy commissioner and journalist to review Newfoundland info law

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The government of Newfoundland and Labrador has appointed three people with backgrounds in the law and journalism to review the province's Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Premier Tom Marshall has promised a review of the act about one year earlier than was required by law because of complaints about amendments that were made two years ago in Bill 29. Those changes blocked the release of ministerial briefing notes, increased protections for cabinet records, hiked fees and allowed ministers to reject requests as frivolous.

Germany's Gabriel wants Swiss bankers who aid evasion in court

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's center-left deputy chancellor hailed the jail sentence for tax evasion handed to Bayern Munich soccer boss Uli Hoeness and said the directors of Swiss banks that hide such funds should be hauled before the courts. "I hope we will now reach a new level in the fight against tax evasion," Sigmar Gabriel of the Social Democrats (SPD) said in an interview published on Friday, when asked about Hoeness's 3-1/2-year jail term for evading 27.2 million euros in taxes.

Telecoms evasive on how they co-operate with spies, police: researchers

OTTAWA - Privacy advocates say they're disappointed with vague responses from Canadian telecommunication companies about when and how they hand customer information to police and security agencies. Researcher Christopher Parsons, who helped lead the effort to find out more about the practices, says just 10 of 16 Internet and telephone companies responded to a January questionnaire, while one firm asked for more time.

France says 16,000 declare hidden bank accounts

France said Wednesday that nearly 16,000 people had declared funds hidden abroad after Switzerland ended its vaunted banking secrecy. Budget Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the government was on track to collect 230 million euros ($316 million) from only 2,621 of the cases. He told the finance committee of the lower house National Assembly that 80 percent of the newly declared accounts were from Switzerland, which has curtailed its banking secrecy traditions under international pressure. Another seven percent of the accounts were from Luxembourg, Cazeneuve said.

Florida tax evasion trial of ex-UBS banker delayed eight months

By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - A Florida judge has agreed to an eight-month delay in the trial of Raoul Weil, a former high-ranking UBS banker charged with tax fraud by U.S. authorities. Weil's lawyers requested the delay in light of the massive amount of evidence that has been produced over the past couple of weeks. Weil, a 54-year-old Swiss citizen, is charged with helping Americans dodge taxes for UBS via secret Swiss bank accounts.

U.S., Canada forge deal in global anti-tax dodger push

By Louise Egan and Patrick Temple-West OTTAWA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Canada and the United States on Wednesday unveiled a tax information-sharing pact, advancing the Obama administration's fight against tax dodgers, although challenges remained to implementing a U.S. international tax transparency law.
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