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Combating Information Overload

Information overload remains a serious issue for many (information) professionals. At a recent knowledge management (KM) conference in New York sponsored by WestKM and Recommind, I presented a paper on the topic of information overload. I discussed three main aspects: 1) The History of Information Overload 2) The Negative Impact of Information Overload 3) KM Tips and Techniques to Combat Information Overload 1) The History of Information Overloa...
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Confidentiality Obligations in Outsourcing Agreements

...s. As part of an outsourcing transaction, the customer and the service provider each agree to make Confidential Information available to the other but subject, in each case, to the limitations on use, disclosure and retention that are agreed to in the contract. Unfortunately, customers and service providers don’t always get it right and the parties sometimes find, after signing the agreement, that information intended to be kept confidential need...
Posted in: Outsourcing

Too Much Information!

Discussions of legal ethics and protection of information often don’t distinguish between confidential information and privileged information. The seminal case of Macdonald Estate v. Martin [i] provides a good example. As Justice Sopinka put it: Typically, these cases require two questions to be answered: (1) Did the lawyer receive confidential information attributable to a solicitor and client relationship relevant to the matter at hand? (2) Is...
Posted in: Legal Ethics

Bill C-12 and “Lawful Authority” Under PIPEDA Lawson* Those following the development of Canadian privacy law have long awaited amendments to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”), some of which are proposed in Bill C-12. This rather long post addresses just one of these amendments: the proposed new definition of “lawful authority”. Under PIPEDA, telecom service providers (“TSPs”) are permitted to disclose “personal information” (which includes name,...
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

AODA Era Part III: Information and Communication Standard

...ibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), we talked about the general and common requirements for the Information and Communication, Employment and Transportation Standards found in the Proposed Integrated Accessibility Regulation (PIAR), which is slated to become law around July 2011 (not confirmed). In addition to these general requirements, there are specific requirements for each of the PIAR standards. We will review the specific pr...
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Confidentiality Obligations in Outsourcing Agreements – Part Two

...mer or the service provider do not always get right.  4. Restrictions on the disclosure and use of Confidential Information Confidentiality obligations frequently limit the ability of a party to use or disclose the confidential information of the other party in terms similar to the following: “A party may use, disclose or make available relevant aspects of the other party’s Confidential Information: (a) only to its personnel and subcontractors to...
Posted in: Outsourcing

The Evolving Value of Information Management: Joint Financial Times and SLA Report

...shelf of books. It’s the same thing – it’s just I’m applying it to a different area.” 5. Provide decision-ready information The top three information related challenges for executives concern the “relevancy of information,” “having to sift through information” and “information overload.” The common thread through all of these is that the information they receive is not ‘decision ready’. In other words, executives have to spend valuable time tryin...
Posted in: Legal Information

Alberta’s New Personal Information Outsourcing Requirements:  Is Anybody Paying Attention?

The Amendments I recently had an opportunity to speak with a representative in the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta in connection with Alberta’s new obligations surrounding notification and disclosure of outsourcing arrangements involving personal information. On May 1st, Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Amendment Act, 2009 amended the provincial Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). Now, while I’m not...
Posted in: Outsourcing

Bill C-12: Safeguarding Canadians’ Personal Information Act – Eroding Privacy in the Name of Privacy

...vernment has recently announced its intention to focus on Bill C-12, the Safeguarding Canadians’ Personal Information Act, its attempt to update PIPEDA in accordance with the statute’s last 5 year review (which incidentally was conducted over 6 years ago). Bill C-12 is a lackluster piece of privacy protection that, in spite of its name, arguably does far more to erode privacy than it does to enhance it. One commentator even dubbed it&...
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

Overview of Proposed PIPEDA Amendments

...May 25, the Minister of Industry introduced in Parliament Bill C29, also known as an Act to amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. Bill C-29 is the long-awaited government response to the five year mandatory review of PIPEDA and contains a number of very significant amendments that, if passed, will alter the landscape of privacy law compliance in Canada. At a very high level, it provides mandatory breach notifica...
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Using Patient Health Information in Human Resources Investigation

The Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner recently confirmed that Alberta Health Services (AHS) breached the rights of one of its employees by intentionally using information from his addiction counselling against him during a human resources investigation. The breach of the employee’s personal health information clearly contravened the Health Information Act (HIA). So what happened? After receiving a referral from his psychiatrist, the c...
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Reducing Research Anxiety in the Legal Research Process

...and legal researchers: (a topic I might consider researching in detail if I ever were to pursue a doctorate in information studies): what, if anything, can be done to lessen the anxiety that legal researchers suffer during the research process? That legal researchers suffer anxiety goes without saying. The researcher may be uncertain where to begin, they may be suffering from too much information, or they may lack confidence in concluding they h...
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research