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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 Overlo...
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Confidentiality Obligations in Outsourcing Agreements

...ts. 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 nee...
Posted in: Outsourcing

Bill C-12 and “Lawful Authority” Under PIPEDA

...ppa 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

...r these standards in this and subsequent posts. This post will focus on the specific requirements under the AODA Information and Communication Standard. The Information and Communications Standard (Part II of the PIAR) focuses on accessible information and communications relating to the provision of goods and services. The definition of “information and communication” is very broad and can include such things as websites, brochures, flyers, invoi...
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

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 tryi...
Posted in: Legal Information

Confidentiality Obligations in Outsourcing Agreements – Part Two

...r 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 subcontracto...
Posted in: Outsourcing

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

...2 touches on a number of the same issues by expanding the conditions under which companies can voluntarily share information with police. Currently, section 7(3)(c.1) of PIPEDA arguably operates as a blocking statute preventing organizations from voluntarily handing over customer information in situation where police have failed to demonstrate their ‘lawful authority’ to request it. The exact parameters of what ‘lawful authority...
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

Overview of Proposed PIPEDA Amendments

...anada. At a very high level, it provides mandatory breach notification for security breaches related to personal information, attempts to clarify the confusing “lawful authority” provisions in Section 7 and also facilitates the disclosure of customer and employee information in connection with business transactions. This post will attempt to summarize the significant amendments, but since the ink is barely dry on the bill readers should check out...
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

...s 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...
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Information Requests From Public Bodies

...for the drug application process. A competitor of the appellant pharmaceutical company, Merck Frosst, requested information under the Access to Information Act about submissions Merck had made to Health Canada. The submissions were required under the Food and Drug Regulations to bring Merck’s Singulair® to market. They consisted of a New Drug Submission (“NDS”) and a Supplementary New Drug Submission (“SNDS”) that contained full and frank...
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions