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David Fraser

David Fraser


Tel: 902.444.8535
Fax: 902.425.6350



David is well-known as one of Canada’s leading internet, technology and privacy lawyers. He regularly advises a range of clients – from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies – on all aspects of technology and privacy laws.


David advises private and public sector clients to implement compliance programs for Canadian privacy legislation, including the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Canada), the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Nova Scotia) and the Privacy Act (Canada). He regularly provides opinions on privacy laws for both Canadian and international clients and is a frequently invited speaker on this topic. David also acts for complainants and respondents in matters referred to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. He is the author of the popular Canadian Privacy Law Blog ( David’s blog was awarded a “Clawbie” in 2013 by the Canadian Law Blog Awards.


David is widely recognized as one of Canada’s foremost authorities on privacy law and other legal issues associated with cloud computing. He regularly advises vendors and customers in connection with implementing cloud computing projects, in both the public and private sectors. David is particularly known for his ability to cut through the seemingly intractable issues related to cross-border data flows and law enforcement/national security access to customer data.


A significant portion of David’s practice is devoted to working with American and multi-national businesses in addressing Canadian privacy law issues. This often includes contract negotiations, policy reviews, pre-launch product reviews, addressing complaints and advising with respect to data breaches. For example, David regularly advises Google Inc. and has represented the company before the Privacy Commissioner of Canada in connection with a range of matters, including Google’s inadvertent collection of WiFi payload information when driving Street View cars in Canada.


In addition, David is the Past President of the Canadian IT Law Association and the former Chair of National Privacy and Access Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association. David was honoured to be included in the inaugural (2006) and each subsequent edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada in the category of Information Technology law. He is listed among the world’s leading lawyers in Internet and eCommerce Law in the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers. In the spring of 2006, David was a recipient of an Outstanding Young Canadian Award by the Junior Chamber of Commerce International – Halifax Chapter.  In 2009, David was named as one of Canada’s “Top 40 Lawyers Under 40” by Lexpert, and is listed in Lexpert’s guide to leading lawyers in Canada. In 2011, David was named by The Lawyers Weekly as one of Canada’s top 24 legal social media influencers. In 2013, David was among the finalists for Canadian Lawyer magazine’s most influential Canadian lawyers.


David is often sought out by the media for informed commentary on privacy and technology law issues, including CBC’s The National, CTV National News, CBC Radio, the National Post, Lawyer’s Weekly, Canadian Lawyer and the Halifax Chronicle Herald.


David has served on the Research Ethics Board of the Capital District Health Authority. He is currently a member of the Joint Data Access Committee of the IWK Health Centre for Women and Children in Halifax, which reviews applications for research access to personal health information. In 2002, David was invited to be an associate of the Institute of Law and Technology. He is a member of the faculty of Dalhousie Law School, where he teaches Internet and Media Law, Law and Technology, and Law and Policy for Electronic Commerce. He is on the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Law and Technology and is a regular contributor to the Canadian IT Law Association’s newsletter. Active in the Halifax technology community, David is secretary and director of Digital Nova Scotia (formerly ITANS).



  • LL.B., Dalhousie University (1999)
  • M.A., Saint Mary’s University (1996)
  • B.A., (Hons.), University of British Columbia (1993)
Legal Update: Counting Down to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) – Does CASL Make You A “Spammer”?
April 15, 2014

<p align="left">The countdown to CASL is on: on July 1, 2014, the anti-spam sections of <a href="">Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (“CASL”)</a> take effect. Individuals and organizations it affects now have less than three months to create, implement or update their CASL compliance program.  </p> <p align="left"> </p> <p>Take our 10 question quiz to find out if CASL

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Cloud Computing: A Privacy FAQ
March 19, 2014

<p align="left">As organizations turn to cloud computing services, ensuring compliance with legislation and reducing privacy risks is key.</p> <p align="left"> </p> <p align="left">In Canada, there is often a perception that using cloud computing services may be against the law or undermine privacy. This is often not the case. This FAQ Guide will dispel some of the

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Legal Alert: 10 Reasons Why You Should Care About The Upcoming Canada Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) Right Now
February 28, 2014

<p>On July 1, 2014, the anti-spam sections of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (aka “CASL”) will take effect. CASL is:<br />  </p> <ul> <li><b>Broad.</b> It applies to just about every person and organization sending commercial electronic messages (CEM) – which isn’t as clear as you’d hope.</li> <li><b>Complicated.</b> It moves Canada to a permission-based regime for electronic marketing –

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Legal Update: Counting Down to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation – What You Need to Know Now
February 28, 2014

<p>On July 1, 2014, the anti-spam sections of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (aka “CASL”) take effect. CASL will apply to just about every business – from sole proprietors and independent contractors, to multinational corporations – and every person sending just about every form of commercial electronic message to, from or within Canada:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><b>CASL Primer.</b>

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Legal Alert: First Decision Under NS Cyber-safety Act
February 12, 2014

<p align="left">On February 11, 2014 the Nova Scotia Supreme Court made its first decision applying the NS <i>Cyber-safety Act </i>– and issued a prevention order.</p> <p align="left"> </p> <p align="left">According to media reports, Andrea Paul, the Chief of the Pictou Landing First Nation, reported that Christopher Prosper – now living in Ontario – sent her numerous

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Legal Alert: Feds Finally Opt-In To Anti-Spam Regulations
December  5, 2013

<p align="left">On December 4, 2013 the Federal Government announced it has finalized the long-awaited and much revised <a href=""><i>Regulations </i></a>to <a href="">Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation</a> (aka “CASL”) – officially moving Canada from an “opt-out” to an “opt-in” framework for “commercial electronic messages”:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The Laws.</strong> CASL was proclaimed in 2010, but has been effectively on hold until

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Legal Alert: SCC Decides Union’s Freedom of Expression Trumps Individual Privacy Rights
November 15, 2013

<p>On November 15, 2013 – in an anxiously awaited and groundbreaking decision – the Supreme Court of Canada decided Alberta’s private sector privacy legislation is unconstitutional because it infringes a union’s <em>Charter </em>right to freedom of expression by prohibiting it from videotaping and photographing people crossing the picket line. The decision has reach across Canada:

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Legal Alert: Privacy in Computer Contents – SCC Picks Up Where It Left Off
November  8, 2013

<p>On November 7, 2013, the SCC decided police require specific authorization in a search warrant to search the data in a computer because of the privacy interests at stake. In <a href=""><i>R v. Vu</i></a>, the SCC continues its development of the law around privacy rights in the contents of computers – including “smart phones” –

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Legal Update: Cloud Computing and Privacy FAQ
April  7, 2011

<p><strong>Note: <a href="">Click here</a> to read an updated version of this Legal Update in <a href="">Cloud Computing: A Privacy FAQ</a> as seen in as seen in CCCA Magazine, Spring 2014.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In Canada, there is often a perception that using cloud computing services may be against the law or may undermine privacy. This is often not

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Bar Admissions

Nova Scotia (2001)

Federal Court Grants Order Protecting Plaintiffs’ Identities in Medical Marijuana Access Program Privacy Breach Class Action
April 11, 2014

<p>On February 20, 2014, McInnes Cooper made a motion before the Federal Court of Canada asking for a court order protecting the identities of “John Doe” and “Suzie Jones”, the pseudonyms of the proposed representative plaintiffs in two of the proposed class actions against Health Canada for breaching the privacy of members of its Medical

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David Fraser wins 2013 Canadian Legal Blog Award
January  3, 2014

<p>McInnes Cooper congratulates Privacy Lawyer <a href="">David Fraser</a> who received the 2013 Canadian Legal Blog Award (a.k.a. “Clawbie”) for best Practitioner Blog. The Clawbies highlight great blogs published by the Canadian legal industry.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>David provides privacy law advice to many private and public companies in Atlantic Canada, nationally and internationally.  He is a key

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New Brunswick Local Public Organizations subject to New Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (RTIPPA)
September  2, 2012

<p>NB’s <em>Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act </em>Applies to Additional Organizations Effective September 1 and October 1, 2012.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is a reminder that NB’s <em>Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act </em>will cover additional NB bodies on both September 1, 2012 and October 1, 2012.  Effective on September 1, 2012, the

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David Fraser comments on debate over proposed “Protecting Children From Internet Predators Act”
February 16, 2012

<p>David Fraser, @privacylawyer, and Partner at McInnes Cooper, has been called upon various times throughout the week to comment on the Government's proposed "Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act" formerly known as the Lawful Access Act.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The act seeks to compel Internet Provider's to release personal information about their users, including names and home

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David Fraser, our Privacy lawyer, interviewed on Protecting Yourself Online
January 26, 2012

<p><a href="">Global Maritimes</a> interviewed <a title="David Fraser" href="">David Fraser</a> last night on how to protect yourself online and the challenges of doing so when websites cross borders and defamation laws do not.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To watch the extended interview <a href="">click here</a>. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For more on Privacy Law in Canada, follow David's blog at <a

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