said by activoice:
Personally if I had received one of these notices, I would have contacted a lawyer right away to figure out what my rights are...
I would be afraid of Tek's lawyers making arguments on my behalf and maybe making an error that might set some precedent limiting my possibility for a defence.
I would not admit to any fault and would tell Voltage to take me to court. Then my defence would be that I do not dispute that the IP address terminates at my residence, but that I usually leave my WI-FI open for anyone to use, and I am not breaking any laws by doing that. What those people who borrow my internet choose to do with it is not my responsibility. I reside on the same street as a school and my WIFI signal reaches at least that far... I could argue that it could have been anyone in the school using a laptop.
I agree with you on all points but one. The ISP's would not be fighting "on your behalf" (though this is the spin that they are putting on it so they can try not to uphold their responsibilities and hope you will accept that at face value). They would be fighting to protect themselves from causing damage to themselves by turning over personal information in contravention to both federal and provincial laws.
I also wouldn't contact a lawyer, I would simply reply to the letter stating I plan on hiring a lawyer to provide an answer and plan to fight the accusations every step of the way and see what they say in return.
Also, just because you have "secured wifi" does not mean that it truly is "secured." Anyone with an Android base device only needs a little time and they can get in.
There are tonnes of holes and hoops that any Studio would have to jump through in order to be successful in a case like this, would have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly millions if they have to fight all 2000 cases individually (doesn't take long to add up at $400/hr for a lawyer), to do so and the most they can come out with is $1000000 (that's if they win every case and are awarded the max in every case). Most likely, they'll only be awarded the minimum in most cases, if they win so that number drops significantly very quickly. They may only come out with a couple hundred thousand, which wouldn't even cover the lawyers and expenses.
Part of PIPEDA also states that the requestor has to show that they are going to use the information in a lawsuit in order to be given access to it. I believe the sheer number of plantiffs, ie 2000, shows right of the bat that they do not intend to sue. At the very least, all 2000 people as this would bankrupt a small company such as Voltage so the request should have denied flat out.
There are many grounds that Tek should be fighting this request on in accordance with their responsibilities outlined in the privacy act and choosing not to do so will open themselves up to liability and litigation.