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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Taking Someone’s Picture Without Publication

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that taking someone’s picture without their consent (or in this case, taking a newborn baby’s picture without its parents’ consent) is a breach of fundamental human rights, whether or not the picture is ever published. The story is on [The judgment in Affaire Reklos et Davourlis c. Grèce is available only in French.]

“The Court reiterated that the concept of private life was a broad one which encompassed the right to identity,” said an ECHR press release about the ruling. “It stressed that a person’s image revealed his or

. . . [more]
Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Your License on Facebook

There’s been some discussion about Facebook and privacy, but less, perhaps, about the matter of who may use the material posted to it. Remember the fuss when Google Chrome’s EULA claimed rights in everything that passed through the browser? Well, if you’re a Facebook user, you might want to take a look at their “contractual” offer.

Facebook’s terms of use make it clear that in using the site you:

hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to

    (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan,
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Where Are You? Google Knows.

This past week, Google introduced a snazzy new application for smartphones. It’s called Google Latitude and it’s a bit like a location-based Twitter. It uses the GPS in your blackberry so you can know where your friends are and they can track you, too. In an age when more and more people are voluntarily putting personal information online, this takes it a next step by creating a record of where you are at almost all times.

Google touts the privacy settings, so you can adjust who can see where you are and when. The introductory video (below) has some good . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

A Technology Project for the LCO?

An explicit aspect of the Law Commission of Ontario’s mandate is to “consider technology as a means to enhance access to justice”. I see this aspect of our mandate as something we should incorporate into all our projects, although the odd one may not call for it (we did not consider it in our pensions project, for example, which was narrowly defined). But it is obviously an invitation to undertake a project specifically focused on technology and the justice system. As a group devoted to technology and the law, Slaw bloggers are a prime resource for project ideas for this . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Workplace Privacy and Social Networks: OBA Session on Privacy Law

As part of the Ontario Bar Association‘s 2009 OBA Institute (continuing today) the Privacy Law section held a program yesterday entitled “What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Privacy”. Dan Michaluk has blogged about his session in which he was a panelist with Professor Avner Levin from Ryerson University; their focus was on workplace privacy issues that came out of the Ryerson study The Next Digital Divide: Online Social Network Privacy. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Substantive Law, Technology

Tracking the Web, and Monetizing Off It

Yesterday, Nicole Baute of the Toronto Star covered a new social networking analysis company, Sysomos. The Canadian company gathers data from Twitter, Facebook, and 30 million blogs. Yes, 30 million.

It’s a new start-up by a UofT prof and one of his grad students, and they received financial support from the province to get things going.

They claim to go beyond brand monitoring by identifying what people are saying, who these people are, and what their tone is.

One recent practical application is mentions of Stephen Harper when parliament was prorogued. They also say . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Cross-Border Data Processing

Many thanks to Dan Michaluk at All About Information for the heads up that the Privacy Commissioner has new Guidelines for Processing Personal Data Across Borders.

Processing? According to the Commissioner:

PIPEDA does not distinguish between domestic and international transfers of data.

“Processing” is interpreted to include any use of the information by the third party processor for a purpose for which the transferring organization can use it.

Here at Slaw we have talked about outsourcing on occasion. It is somewhat comforting to have a document to point our sources at to guide the way Canadian personal information . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Recent Developments in Foreign State Immunity

The visibility and relevance of foreign state (or sovereign) immunity has grown significantly in recent years. States and state-related entities are playing a growing role in international investment and commerce, while seeking civil remedies against states in domestic courts is increasingly seen as an important tool in holding states accountable for torture or other breaches of human rights.

State immunity, in its most traditional formulation, is the rule that a domestic court will not implead a foreign state in its proceedings without the state’s consent. It is, in effect, the expression of judicial deference to the executive’s responsibility . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Stikeman in UN Corporate Law Study

John Ruggie, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, has announced a study involving 15 corporate law firms from around the world “to identify whether and how national corporate law principles and practices currently foster corporate cultures respectful of human rights.” Stikeman Elliott is the participating firm from Canada. The firms will provide resources pro bono to examine the laws and practices of 40 jurisdictions. At the end of the study in the fall of 2009, the results will be presented at “a multi-stakeholder expert consultation” held at Osgoode Hall Law School. A list of participating firms . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

New York Review on Google Books

There’s a long and thoughtful piece in the New York Review of Books by Robert Darnton on “Google and the Future of Books.Darnton is a renowned Harvard scholar on the history of the book and the director of the university’s library.

The NYRB piece negotiates the twin aims of promoting development through commerce and copyright on the one hand and enlightening as broad a segment of the public as possible through wide and free access to books on the other. Darnton explores the costs and benefits of Google’s having effectively captured the right to publish electronic versions . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading, Substantive Law, Technology, Technology: Internet

Legal Issues in Social Media With David Fraser

I spent this past Sunday in Dartmouth at the first Podcamp Halifax. As an enthusiast of the Podcamp movement of grassroots community-run events for the social media set (and an organizer of Podcamp Toronto), I was there to help them kick off their first such event, as well as spend time meeting some fascinating people.

One such person is David Fraser, lawyer with McInnes Cooper with whom I have been corresponding for a few years now, president of the Canadian Information Technology Law Association, and law blogger (see his posts here on Slaw and also his . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Technology