Santa violating data privacy laws

SantaIf Santa stops at your house, you may want to inquire about his privacy policy.  A recent report has raised several serious questions about the data Santa collects on our children.

Santa keeps a list of every child in the world, which he uses to track if they’ve been naughty or nice during the previous year. It’s unclear whether Santa uses data from credit bureaus and other third parties or if he relies exclusively on his own observations.

To date, Santa hasn’t disclosed the privacy safeguards for this data, a possible violation of several laws.

It’s also unknown how long Santa keeps this information. British law says that organizations must not keep data longer than necessary, which would require Santa to destroy the data he collects on December 25, although Pinsent Masons argues that Santa could keep this information for several years to protect against toy-related lawsuits. If the data Santa collects includes health (“I broke my leg this year”) or financial data (“our family can’t afford new toys”), he could be violating U.S. data laws as well.

Of course, Santa has been sneaking in and out of homes for centuries. Even if Mr. Claus is charged, I doubt we could ever apprehend him.

By the way, scientists have been investigating Santa too!

Enjoy the break.  See you in 2008!

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