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Archive for ‘ulc_ecomm_list’

Email Evidence—Worth the Search?

Bruni v. Bruni, 2010 ONSC 6568 (CanLII), a recent decision of the Superior Court of Justice in a family matter, noted (literally, in a footnote (23)):

In recent years, the evidence in family trials typically includes reams of text messages between the parties, helpfully laying bare their true characters. Assessing credibility is not nearly as difficult as it was before the use of e-mails and text messages became prolific. Parties are not shy about splattering their spleens throughout cyberspace.

Is that your experience? Does a multiplicity of informal electronic communications help or hurt assessment of credibility? Is . . . [more]

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

Social Media – a Good Source of Data About Insurability?

People have expressed concern about behavioural advertising, in which advertisers watch what one does online in order to send out ads that are likely to appeal to the person watched. A number of big online services are now developing a ‘do not track’ command to allow their users to prevent their information from being collected for that purpose.

A more interesting, and more intrusive, usage of behavioural information collected online is by insurance companies that may decide whether someone is a good risk to insure based on that information. Fans of XXX’s double-cheese-and-bacon deep-dish pizzas may find themselves having a . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Future International Work on E-Commerce

What are the pressing topics on which international law should be developed regarding electronic commerce? Are your clients running into difficulties, or areas of uncertainty, that could be resolved by a harmonized approach among our trading partners?

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is asking these questions. UNCITRAL has been the source of much innovation in e-com law over the years, notably with its Model Law on Electronic Commerce (1996) [PDF] that is the basis of Canadian, American and much other law on that topic.

UNCITRAL is holding a colloquium in New York next month (Feb 14 . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, ulc_ecomm_list

Personal Emails in a Goverment System: Subject to Access to Information Law?

A lawyer with the City of Ottawa was active in community activities, and with permission of his employer spent some time on those activities at the office. His email to and from one of the charities became the subject of an access to information request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA). He resisted disclosure of the emails on the ground that they had nothing to do with government business, the disclosure of which was the purpose of the Act.

The Information and Privacy Commissioner held in April 2009 that the emails must be disclosed: . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Lawyer’s Duty to “Sanitize” Storage Media

The Florida Bar Association has recently published a professional ethics opinion on the duty of lawyers to ‘sanitize’, i.e. erase the memory of, storage media such as printers, copiers, scanners and fax machines.

The opinion explains why such devices even have memories; some of the older among us may not think of them as that smart! It also notes a duty to supervise staff whose job it may be to clear out the memories of these devices before the devices are returned to lessors, or sold, or even just scrapped.

I see that the Law Society of Upper Canada’s ‘technology’ . . . [more]

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

Where Your Personal Information Goes – and How It Gets There

The Federal Trade Commission in the US published – as part of a much larger report on privacy – a fascinating chart on the various routes that various kinds of personal information take from the individual to end users of all kinds.

There is a note on the website of the Centre for Democracy and Technology about the chart.

The chart itself is in PDF.

There is a lot of information on the chart, so you will have to blow it up at least to double size to see it clearly (if your eyes are no better than mine…). It . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, ulc_ecomm_list

Is Information on a Computer Screen Printed?

A court in Illinois has recently held that showing a credit card number on a computer screen did not constitute printing that number: Kelleher v. Eaglerider, Inc., 2010 WL 4684037 (N.D.Ill., Nov. 10 2010). Internet Cases has the story.

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 [PDF] (FACTA) says that a merchant must not print out a receipt with more than the last five digits of a credit card number. Someone who did a transaction saw his full number on the screen, and sued for damages for breach of the statute. He lost.

In my view, I’m . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

Internet Jurisdiction – Based on Location of Server?

A recent English court case, Football Dataco Ltd et al. v Sportradar GmbH [2010] EWHC 2911 (Ch), has held that at least for some purposes, the jurisdiction of a court over Internet content should be based on where the server was located, and not where the information online was read or used.

This seems to me to be half right. Jurisdiction should not be based on where the information was read or received, unless there is some separate activity going on there. But the location of the server should be irrelevant too. It is the location of the business . . . [more]

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

Talking About Your Case on Social Media May Waive Your Privilege

An American magistrate judge (sort of like a master) has ruled that a plaintiff suing a company for improperly sending a takedown notice under the DMCA has waived a number of heads of attorney-client
privilege by discussing the details of her legal case too broadly by email and on a blog (Eric Goldman blog (per Venkat))

So it’s not just lawyers who have to worry about waiving privilege – the clients can do so too. It’s not that the media of communications were insecure in themselves, it’s that they left traces that could be
found (not surprising, for . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Electronic Service X 2

1. Following the example of the UN Model Law on Electronic Commerce, the UN E-Communications Convention [PDF] contains a provision on when electronic messages are received. They are received when they are capable of being retrieved by the addressee at an electronic address designated by the addressee. (Article 10) An electronic message is presumed to be capable of being retrieved by the addressee when it reaches the addressee’s electronic address.

The explanatory note to the Convention explains at para 180 that this presumption of retrievability may be rebutted, for example, if the security filters of the addressee’s system prevent the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Online Arbitration and the Statutes

The Uniform Arbitration Act (1990), in force in six provinces (and passed years ago in PEI but never proclaimed in force), sets out what were then modern rules for the conduct of arbitrations, with powers of arbitrators spelled out in default of agreement by the parties, and with restrictions on court intervention in the proceedings, as well as enforcement provisions. So far as I know, it works fairly well. (Ontario had a bit of controversy a few years ago about its application to family arbitrations conducted under religious law, and the statute was amended to better harmonize with family law . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Jurisdiction Over or Law Applicable to Personal Information

Is anybody – any international body – studying the legal basis for jurisdiction over personal information as it crosses national borders, or considering the law that should be applicable to such PI?

This could be thought of as ‘law applicable to the cloud’ in these days of cloud computing, though I don’t think it’s limited to that.

The Hague Conference on Private International Law in April 2010 noted [PDF p.18] as an ‘additional subject’ for work, more I think in the lines of a watching brief:

The Council invited the Permanent Bureau to continue to follow developments in the following

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