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Archive for ‘Administration of Slaw’

The Duty Not to Find …

On the heels of the European Court of Justice’s decision, discussed on Slaw here and here, to require Google to suppress links to particular web sites that had ‘irrelevant and outdated’ personal information about a complainant, and US courts’ refusal to do the same, the British Columbia Supreme Court has now gone a step further: it has ordered Google to ensure that searches for particular topics or a particular company do not find the company defendant in the action before it.

The principals of the defendant company were accused of stealing trade secrets of the plaintiff and of . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Law Enforcement Access to ISP Subscriber Information

The Supreme Court of Canada has released its judgment in the Spencer case. It held that the police had no legal right to ask an ISP for subscriber information, as that would violate the subscriber’s reasonable expectation of privacy. The type of information that could be gleaned from the information went beyond the mere name and address into browsing practices, i.e. sensitive information in which the subscriber might reasonably expect anonymity.

The section of PIPEDA that allows custodians of data to disclose the data to law enforcement officials without telling the data subject, did not apply where the search . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Slaw Welcomes Yves Faguy

I’m pleased to welcome Yves Faguy as a new blogger to Slaw. Yves will be joining our Thursday group of writers.

You may recognize Yves as the Senior and online editor of National Magazine, where he has also been a noticeable part of their blogging team in recent years.

Prior to working as a journalist with the CBA, Yves co-founded a Montreal-based company, Nimonik Inc., an environment, health & safety (EHS) solutions provider. He is also currently a principal at Station C, a co-working space in Montreal’s Mile End.

And of course, you can also follow him on twitter: . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Announcements

Google and the Right to Be Forgotten

A Spanish citizen has compelled Google to delete links to online newspaper articles that described the person’s debt problems in the 1990s. The European Court of Justice held that the information was ‘no longer relevant’ and it thus violated the man’s privacy for it to be available through an easy search. (A Spanish court had earlier refused to require the newspaper sites to take down the information, which was perfectly true.)

So: does this ruling make any sense at all, to impose the obligations of a ‘data controller’ on a search engine?

How can the search provider know for sure . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Search Warrants for Electronic Records

Speaking of media neutrality … a US judge has ruled that a search warrant served on Microsoft in the US required the company to divulge records stored on servers outside the US. An account of the decision is here.

The company argued that the court could authorize a search only of premises within the territory of the court’s jurisdiction. The court held that a search warrant that applied to electronic records was in the nature of a subpoena as well as a search warrant. Since MS had control of the documents, it had to turn them over.

Does this . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Goodbye

As of today I am retiring as publisher, editor, and manager of Slaw. I have asked Steve Matthews, the innovative and talented President of Stem Legal, who has been with Slaw since the beginning, to take over as publisher of Slaw; and I’m thankful indeed that he has agreed. Steve is in charge here now.

This is something of a wrench for me. I started Slaw nine years ago and have managed it since that time; I’ve written more than 2,500 entries and another 500 or so as Administrator. I’ve seen it grow from a crew of half a dozen . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Announcements

Upcoming Law Student Week

This year, as we have done for a few years in the past, Slaw will each day in the coming week host a number of student essays written for Professor Adam Dodek’s first year course in Legal Ethics at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Common Law. As Professor Dodek has said here before:

I have found that our students have great perspectives on these issues because they were so recently members of that ridiculous term that only lawyers use: “lay people”. While law school is certainly a socialization process for the legal profession, law students have not been fully

. . . [more]
Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Announcements, Law Student Week

The New Canadian Digital Privacy Act (Bill S-4)

The government of Canada has introduced a bill to amend PIPEDA on privacy matters. The bill appears to be largely the same as Bill C-29 from 2010. It imposes a duty on organizations that have custody of personal information to disclose to the Privacy Commissioner and to affected individuals the fact of any breach of security affecting that personal information, if the breach creates a ‘significant risk of serious harm’ to the individual. Both terms (significant risk and serious harm are defined, or at least given more flavour, in the bill.)

(7) For the purpose of this section, “significant

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

More Thoughts on Information as Property

There have been discussions on whether information can be ‘property’ for legal purposes (such as here and here), and the limits on that equivalence and the reasons for them. The English (and Welsh) Court of Appeal has recently addressed itself to that question again, in Your Response v Datateam Business Media [2014] EWCA Civ 281.

In that case, Your Response was working on a database of Datateam’s customers. In a dispute about payment, Your Response claimed a lien over the database and refused to return it to Datateam in the absence of payment.

The Court of Appeal held that . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

Can You Be Prosecuted for a Facebook ‘like’?

A US appeals court found – properly, in my view – that clicking ‘Like’ on the Facebook page of a political candidate was political speech protected by freedom of expression law.

Another US court found that clicking on ‘Like’ on the Facebook page of someone who has a restraining order against any contact by the clicker is contempt of the restraining order. That too seems sensible, if severe. (Restraining orders often need to be severely enforced.)

Here is an account of a bit of a confused British situation, where someone is apparently being investigated by police for Liking a Facebook . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Authentication vs Hearsay

The Ontario Court of Justice recently had occasion to consider the different grounds on which documentary evidence might be admitted or not admitted into evidence in a criminal case, in HMQ v Mondor.

Mr. Mondor was charged with accessing child pornography via a web site. The police had reconstituted the web site in order to trace certain purchases to the accused. As a result, the electronic records they used were not business records of the seller of the pornography for the purposes of s. 30 of the Canada Evidence Act. The Crown looked instead to what both it and . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

Electronic Evidence Case – Criminal Law and Social Media

The New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench recently admitted into a criminal case screenshots of a Facebook conversation that took place the day after an alleged sexual assault between the complainant and the accused. R v Nde Soh, 2014 NBQB 20

The court held – properly, in my view – that the screenshots were electronic documents within the meaning of ss. 31.1ff of the Canada Evidence Act, which reflect the Uniform Electronic Evidence Act. It found that the documents were properly authenticated. It decided that the computer system was sufficiently reliable in the absence of any evidence from . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list