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Archive for ‘Administration of Slaw’

What if Your Personal Digital Assistant Defames Somebody?

We recently had a discussion about police access to the recordings made by in-home digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and its (her?) ilk.

Now our focus turns to the actions of these devices if they do bad things themselves. This story reports that Siri, Apple’s version, routinely answered requests in Toronto for prostitutes by referring the inquired to an “eSports bar” – one where clients play electronic sports games. Apparently the word may be too close to “escorts” for Siri’s sense of discrimination. It is clear – take it as established for the present discussion – that the bar is . . . [more]

Posted in: International issues, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Data From Pacemaker Used in Prosecution

A man in Ohio was charged with arson and insurance fraud after data from his pacemaker did not support his story about how his house burned down.

The evidence from the pacemaker was taken on a warrant.

A lawyer from the Electronic Frontier Foundation is quoted in the ABA story at the link as saying that privacy interests in one’s health information were “eroded” by the decision. The statement suggests that privacy should override the state’s interest in prosecution.

Do you agree? Or is the need for a warrant enough protection for privacy relating to medical devices, as it is . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Ending the Signature Fetish?

A man was injured driving a go-kart at a track in Saskatchewan. He sued the owners of the track. The owners moved to dismiss the action because the plaintiff had waived their liability on an electronic form. The plaintiff argued that it was not clear that he had signed the waiver. Held: for the owners.

Quilichini v Wilson’s Greenhouse, 2017 SKQB 10 (CanLII)

The court considered SK’s Electronic Documents and Information Act, which implements the Uniform Electronic Commerce Act. The court properly (in my view) looked at s. 18 of the Act (s. 20 of the Uniform Act) . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, ulc_ecomm_list

May a Plaintiff Compel a Defendant’s Lawyer to Identify His/her Client?

A U.S. court has ordered a lawyer for a defendant in a defamation action to identify his client. Could this be done in Canada? Is it routine? I know that there is Canadian case law on requiring Internet intermediaries to identify users, for both civil and criminal proceedings. I am not aware that lawyers can be required to do so – but maybe that is just because i am no barrister.

The lawyer claimed attorney-client privilege in refusing to answer. If a lawyer shows up in a court proceeding on behalf of a ‘John Doe’ client, is the identity of . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Police Access to Recordings of in-Home Computer “assistants”

A lot of people now have computers they can talk to and get answers from – Siri, Alexa, Cortona, etc – not to mention interactive talking dolls.

A man in Arkansas was recently charged with murdering another man in his home. The accused person had a number of such devices in his home, including an Echo device made by Amazon. While the device is set up to activate itself when addressed in a particular way, or by name, sometimes they record in other circumstances.

The police have asked Amazon to turn over any recording made during the relevant period. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Internet of Things Security by Contract?

This article suggests that the Internet of Things could be made more secure if large buyers of interconnected devices put into their procurement specs some fairly simple rules, e.g. *some* security to start with, e.g. an adjustable password, and patchability to respond to known or discovered threats.

Does this sound right to you? Do your clients insist, or even care?

No doubt large-scale one-off procurement contracts deal with security – well, I hope they do – but what about procurements on more of a mass scale?

I heard of a study over three years ago that found a huge proportion . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

The Results Are In! Slaw’s Inaugural Reader Survey

As some of you may recall from earlier in the year, we ran our first-ever Slaw reader survey. While it has taken us some time to aggregate and digest all of the submissions, we are pleased to finally release our inaugural Slaw Readers Survey Report.

At the outset of this process, our goals were pretty simple: to better understand our readership, and to lay the groundwork for future planning. And I must say, it was very exciting to watch all those submissions roll in! So many of you took the time to respond, giving us demographics, your likes . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Measuring “Serious Harm” in a Data Breach

The prevailing legislative standard in Canada for a duty to report a breach of data security (loss of data, compromise, etc) seems to be that there is a real risk of serious harm as a result of the breach.

Have Canadian courts or regulators given useful guidance on when that happens, and what kind of harm is serious and likely? I am especially interested in court rulings, since the threat of litigation can focus the data holder’s mind as much as or even more than a regulator’s order. (Have privacy regulators cracked down on reporting requirements or other useful follow-up . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

Electronic Chattel Paper – Changing the Medium

A private correspondent writes: “Have you ever heard of any cases on electronic chattel paper that is subsequently printed out (apparently called “papering out” in the biz) and the printed version being considered as an ‘original’?”

Views? What protections are there in law or in practice to avoid duplication of a record that should be unique, or at least have a single authoritative version?

On what basis is electronic chattel paper issued or used in Canada, if at all? UCC Article 9 makes special provision for it, and negotiable electronic records generally, but Canadian e-commerce law has not followed that, . . . [more]

Posted in: International issues, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Access to Private Standards Incorporated Into Law

From time to time governments make law by referring to non-governmental rules. These are often technical matters on which standards are developed by outside experts. For example, a regulation might require manufacturers to comply with a safety standard of the Canadian General Standards Board or the International Standards Organization.

When this happens, should the government have to ensure that the outside standards be accessible to those affected by them? Many standards bodies finance their operation at least in part through the sale of their standards. In other words, access to the text of the standards is not free. Is that . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Legislation, ulc_ecomm_list

Augmented Reality, Diminished Privacy, Increased Conflict?

The new “augmented reality” game Pokemon Go has in a few days more downloads than Tindr. Perhaps the age range of the players is wider.

In any event, to augment your reality, the makers (a spinoff from Google) want a LOT of personal information. TechCrunch has the story, or one version of it. Is the reason that the game is not yet available in Canada our privacy laws, notably PIPEDA, which requires (as well as informed consent) that the collection, use and disclosure of PII be reasonable? Can the game maker justify the extent of the information collected by . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

E-Discovery Records Must Be in “useful” Format

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench has recently held that a party who held relevant electronic records must produce them in native format, rather than in TIFF format, although producing them in native format (in this case, Excel) could take six months’ work and cost $50,000. Alberta and Canadian law were admitted to require that such production be proportional to the stakes in the dispute and not unduly burdensome, but ordering the production in this case was held to satisfy those tests.

Bard v Canadian Natural Resources, 2016 ABQB 267 (CanLII)

This despite a litigation plan that contemplated production . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, ulc_ecomm_list