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Archive for ‘ulc_ecomm_list’

EU Consumer Rights Directive and E-Commerce

Germany has recently enacted legislation to implement the EU Consumer Rights Directive. Here is an article (from the International Law Office) describing the German legislation. Those familiar with Canadian consumer law will notice that it is considerable more detailed and directory than the Internet Sales Harmonization Template [PDF] that is the law in most provinces.

What do you think? Would our law be improved by provisions like those in the German law?

Your clients who do consumer e-commerce in the EU will run into this kind of law in all member states before long. (It must be in force . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Are ‘Hacking Back’ and Other Cybersecurity Defences Acceptable?

If you could detect an attack on your computer system and defend against it, would you want to do it? should you be allowed to do it? What if defending meant harming the computer of the attacker? What if defending meant at least getting information about intermediate computers between the attacker’s and yours?

There are legal and ethical questions here. A review of the ethical ones appears in Stewart Baker’s blog, Skating on Stilts. (He is a former General Counsel of the US National Security Agency, among other high-level achievements.)

Mr Baker argues for private defence as well as . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

More on Browsers’ “Do Not Track” Command

Online advertisers intend to ignore ‘do not track’ settings set by default. Here’s a story on about that practice: Advertising industry standards do not “require companies to honor DNT signals fixed by the browser manufacturers and set by them in browsers”. So much for the ‘better business’ in Better Business Bureau. ‘Better For Business…’ appears more accurate.

A very pungent description of the ‘Privacy? Never heard of it!’ world of advertising and the discussions about these standards can be found on ZDNet. (h/t David Cheifetz)

And even browsers set to ‘do not track’ will not comply with the . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

‘Do Not Track’ Command on Browsers: On or Off by Default?

Microsoft has announced that its new Internet Explorer 10 browser will block the tracking of users’ browsing records by advertisers. There will be a ‘do not track’ command that will be turned on by default, though users can turn it off.

According to this story, the American Association of National Advertisers has complained about this. Tracking, it says, allows for advertising better targeted to users’ interests, thus more likely to be effective, thus more lucrative for the advertisers, thus providing more money to support the ‘free’ content on the Internet. Blocking tracking by default ‘takes the information out . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

UNCITRAL Works on Electronic Transferable Records (And Identity Management)

You may recall that UNCITRAL’s Working Group on Electronic Commerce meets at the end of October to continue work on electronic transferable records (like bills of lading, warehouse receipts, negotiable instruments etc) — documents that have to be unique to keep their value.

The Secretariat has just published the main working papers for the meeting – WP 118 and WP.118/Add1. They are on the UNCITRAL site in the working group document section under E-commerce (of course):

The US, Spain and Colombia have also submitted their overview of the issues, as WP.119.

In addition, the ABA’s task force on . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

A “Real Name” Law?

According to,

On Thursday last week, eight judges in South Korea’s Constitutional Court unanimously struck down a law requiring the use of real names online on the grounds that it violated the constitutional right to free speech.

Would the Canadian Charter or other law produce the same effect if Parliament passed a similar statute?

Is there any remedy against a private service provider sought to enforce such a policy? I know that Facebook states that users must use their real names, bit I also know that that rule is not universally applied. (It is a bit hard to . . . [more]

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

Cybersecurity by Government Contract?

According to Steptoe and Johnson’s E-Commerce Law Week,

The U.S. Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and NASA last month proposed a change to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) that would require contractors to safeguard their information systems containing information provided by or generated for the government. The proposed rule … would require government contracts with all federal contractors and appropriate subcontractors to mandate basic information security measures.

Is this a good idea?

In particular, should Canadian governments be concerned about the security of the IT systems in place among businesses that contract with them? If so, should . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Legal Claims and Third-Party Privacy

Recently I published here a case comment on a Quebec tribunal decision involving the admissibility of social media evidence.

One particular element of the argument surprised me, and I would be interested in your views.

In the case, an employee brought a complaint before a labour tribunal against her employer, claimed that the employer had created, or allowed to continue, an atmosphere of harassment. As evidence, she brought printouts of comments made by her work colleagues on the Facebook page of another colleague who was also (for a while) a Facebook friend of the complainant.

The employer objected to this . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Voice Signatures

Has anyone had any experience with the use of the voice as a legal signature (presumably by way of a recording)? Is there any case law on the topic, one way or the other?

When we did the UECA in 1999, we had in mind that a voice mail message might be an electronic document and the association of the content with the speaker could well constitute a signature.

There is some law that a signature must be an intentional act, and whether just saying ‘Hello, it’s John, I accept your offer to sell me your house’ would constitute an . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Must the Internet Be Accessible to People With Disabilities?

A court in Massachusetts last month refused to dismiss a case brought by the National Association of the Deaf against Netflix, claiming that Netflix is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide closed-captioning on all its products, including streaming of broadcasts. Netflix was held to be a place of public accommodation within the meaning of the Act.

Does this strike you as a reasonable result? What would happen in Canada, under our various access statutes, one of the most extensive of which is the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act? Governments tend to have standards about . . . [more]

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

Banks and Their Commercial Customers

A recent US Court of Appeals decision has caused some concern in banking circles. Here is a blog description with a link to the case, Patco Construction v People’s Bank. Essentially the court held that the business customer’s losses from online fraud had been caused by negligent security practices at the bank, so the bank was liable for them.

As the blog entry (by a noted electronic security expert) points out, while consumers have traditionally been protected in dealings with their banks (so the banks have devised a number of security measures to protect against loss), business clients have . . . [more]

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

Commissioning Affidavits by Video or Skype

There has been a bit of discussion on a couple of Canadian lists lately of the appropriateness of commissioning an affidavit (or declaration or affirmation) by video link or by Skype (which is just another form of video, at least for the purposes of this question, is it not?).

Ontario law, and most other Canadian common law at least, requires that the person making the affidavit must be “in the presence of” the person commissioning it (notary, lawyer, commissioner for taking affidavits). See Commissioner for Taking Affidavits Act (Ontario) s. 9.

Question: Is one sufficiently “in the presence” of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list