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Archive for ‘ulc_ecomm_list’

Digital Currency – the Senate Reports

Are you keeping track of the law on digital currency such as Bitcoin? Are your clients using it, or wanting to? Are you?

The Senate of Canada has issued a report supporting its use. Here’s a story on the report (in case you don’t subscribe to Crypto Coin News…).

Objects in the future are closer than they appear (sometimes). . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Do Real Names Lead to Civility?

It has long been thought that using real names in Internet comments increases the civility of the comments. Here is a large-scale study purporting to demonstrate that this is true.

Anonymity and Online Commenting: The Broken Windows Effect and the End of Drive-by Commenting

The abstract:

In this study we ask how regulations about commenter identity affect the quantity and quality of discussion on commenting fora. In December 2013, the Huffington Post changed the rules for its comment forums to require participants to authenticate their accounts through Facebook. This enabled a large-scale ‘before and after’ analysis. We collected over 42m

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, ulc_ecomm_list

Web Site Accessibility Standards in Ontario

The Regulation on Integrated Accessibility Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) provides, in s. 14, that ‘large organizations’

‘shall meet the requirements of this section in accordance with the following schedule:
1. By January 1, 2014, new internet websites and web content on those sites must conform with WCAG 2.0 Level A.’

Are your clients or other large organizations you know of complying with this obligation? Have they sought your advice on how to comply?

I ask not in order to send in the forces of order (‘not my department’, as we say in government), but . . . [more]

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

UK – “Serious Crimes” to Cybersecurity

The United Kingdom has recently passed the Serious Crimes Act, 2015.

Part 2 of the Act makes several amendments to the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (“CMA”), including:


– a new offence of unauthorised acts in relation to a computer that result either directly, or indirectly, in serious damage in any country to the economy, environment, national security or human welfare, or create a significant risk of such things. The offence will carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for some categories of cyberattack. A person is guilty of the offence if they, at the time of commission, are aware . . . [more]

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

English Court of Appeal Expands Privacy Rights

The Court of Appeal in England has upheld a 2014 decision against Google about its scraping of information from users of the Safari browser. It classified a privacy action as a tort that will support a class action (called a ‘group action’ there) and also service out of the jurisdiction. The Court allowed the action to proceed without proof of pecuniary damages. It also held that ‘browser generated information’ (BGI) was personally identifiable information to which the Data Protection Act applied, though it did not contain the name of the person using the browser.

Google v Vidal-Hall : [2015] EWCA . . . [more]

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

Should Search Engines Index Court Decisions?

In the days of electronic access, judicial decisions (and sometimes other court records that have always been public in principle) no longer benefit from practical obscurity. Court have had to wrestle with the consequences of this, including tailoring the way decisions are written to reduce the amount of personal information they contain.

The Canadian Judicial Council has published material on this, as have the federal and state courts in the US.

Recently a US lawyer proposed that databases of court decisions should block search engines from indexing the decisions – a block that is very easy to implement, with a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Is a Typed Name on an Email a Valid Signature?

Both Canadian law and American law, through their uniform e-transactions statutes, give a wide definition to ‘electronic signature’ – being essentially any information in electronic form in or associated with a document with an intention to sign the document.

The ‘intention to sign’ requirement aimed to ensure that the same mental element was required for an e-signature as for a handwritten signature.

A recent California Court of Appeal case, J.B.B. Investment Partners v Fair, held that a person who typed his name at the bottom of an email saying ‘ I agree’ to settlement agreement sent to him by . . . [more]

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

Ontario Looks at ODR for Some Provincial Offences

The Ministry of the Attorney General is considering an online dispute resolution (ODR) system for dealing with some provincial offences, mainly traffic offences to start.

The system would rely on administrative monetary penalties rather than judicially-imposed fines. The consultation document talks about how someone with a ticket could challenge it online, as well as finding out more about how the process works.

Here is a useful table showing the major changes.

Feel free to participate in the consultation, or to say what you think of it here, or both. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Do We Need to Legislate Against Revenge Porn?

The UK has just passed a law to criminalize revenge porn (see ss 33 – 35). A fair amount of discussion clearly went into the drafting, considering the qualifications and the language. The law prohibits the publication or distribution of a ‘private sexual photograph or film’ without the consent of the subject and with the intention to cause the subject distress. There are fairly subtle definitions of the images, a broad definition of distribution (online or offline), and a requirement that the intention be specific, not just inferred as a reasonable consequence of publication or distribution.

This article describes the . . . [more]

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

Does Including a Forwarding Feature to Defamation Amount to Republication?

The Supreme Court of Canada in Crookes v Newton held that the mere linking to a web site that contained defamatory material did not make the linker liable for defamation. Adding content to the link might change that result.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia has recently held, however, that offering a link to an email program (e.g. ‘mailto:’) on a web page that contains defamatory material constitutes republication of that material, apparently whether or not anyone used it.

Weaver v Corcoran 2015 BCSC 165 (CanLII)

Here is the main passage on that point:

[261] The invitation to email the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

A Constitutional Right to Technology?

A column in the Canadian Lawyer suggests that “technology in a modern advanced society such as the one in which we live, should be recognized as a constitutionally protected right to ‘life, liberty and security of the person,’ under s. 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms”.

Does this suggestion appeal to you? What do you suppose it means in practice?

A bit later on, the columnist suggests he is talking about “access to at least the most basic and rudimentary elements of technology, and arguably, reasonable levels of technology”.

So: the right is access to technology – but . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Can Better Data Security Be Encouraged by Civil Liability?

Some people – notably information security expert Bruce Schneier – believe that if IT suppliers, notably software providers, were civilly liable for the harm caused by buggy products, they would have an incentive to be more careful. The market currently encourages the industry to put products on sale as early as possible, and with the most hype possible, whether testing has been adequate or security threats thoroughly checked.

Here is an overview of Schneier’s position. A classic statement of the issues with software is here.

Would they be more careful – and would we then all be better . . . [more]

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