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Archive for ‘Technology’

Smart Contracts and the Oracle Problem

Smart contracts are simple in concept but often misunderstood. It’s not about creating a contract, it’s about fulfilling a contract without human intervention. When a specified thing happens, the smart contract executes by taking the action it has been programmed to do. For example, you could have a smart contract that orders and pays for a cold drink to be delivered from a nearby restaurant when the temperature goes above 25 degrees on a weekday afternoon.

Blockchain is good for creating smart contracts. That’s because blockchain is designed to be resistant to change from human intervention. Rather than putting an . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

New Web App on What You Can Find in Ontario Courthouse Libraries

Colleagues from the Ontario Courthouse Libraries Association have developed a wonderful web app to help lawyers plan their visit to the courthouses and courthouse libraries around the province.

Information includes details such as :

  • location of the library in the court building
  • contact info
  • hours of service
  • wi-fi availability
  • electronic resources & databases lawyers can use
  • printing and copying costs
  • robing room
  • after hour access
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology

The 2018 Clawbies Are Officially On!

Depending on who you are, what you celebrate, and your personal tolerance for holiday cheer, December 1st is a big day for many folks.

It can be seen as the officially acceptable date to begin various activities: listening to Christmas music, putting up your lights and decorations, or adding a little Bailey’s to your morning coffee.

It is also Inauguration Day in Mexico (every six years), Bette Midler’s birthday, World AIDS Day, and the day in 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.

Here in our little . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

The Importance of Privacy by Design for Motor Vehicles

As the technology within cars advance, so do their capabilities of tracking and sharing your data. Data mining has become a new lucrative revenue stream for car companies.

In recent days, Ford CEO Jim Hackett announced that: “We have 100 million people in vehicles today that are sitting in Ford blue-oval vehicles. That’s the case for monetizing opportunity versus an upstart who maybe has, I don’t know, what, they got 120, or 200,000 vehicles in place now. And so just compare the two stacks: Which one would you like to have the data from?”

Ford has also been gathering data . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

CRTC Releases Onerous CASL Intermediary Bulletin

The CRTC just released a bulletin that goes to surprising lengths to impose liability on third parties for CASL violations. Lengths that may not be supported by the legislation.

It basically tries to turn intermediaries into enforcers. An approach this aggressive is surprising in light of the INDU committee report on CASL released in December 2017 that concluded in part: “The Act and its regulations require clarifications to reduce the cost of compliance and better focus enforcement.”

The bulletin is Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletin CRTC 2018-415 Guidelines on the Commission’s approach to section 9 of Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) . . . [more]

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

Women in Legal Tech

Women are underrepresented in legal technology companies. In the article Making the Future of Legal Tech Female: How We Can Promote Women Founders, Kristen Sonday discusses the dangers of the underrepresentation of women in legal technology companies. “Women currently account for less than 15% of legal tech founders overall.” This is problematic.

As we move from a print-based society to an Internet-based society, technology will change the way legal information is provided and created. If algorithms and AI systems are created by homogenous groups, then the law and legal services will be skewed. Homogenous groups that build the algorithms . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Ten Things About Bitcoin That Lawyers Should Know (On Bitcoin’s Tenth Anniversary)

On October 31, 2008, someone posted a PDF to an encryption newsgroup. The post came from an account named Satoshi Nakamoto.

The PDF contained a text called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” and described what we know today as Bitcoin—the biggest cryptocurrency in the word by market capitalization (about USD$110 billion as of today).

Here are ten things that lawyers should know about Bitcoin.

1. There are no physical Bitcoin coins or banknotes.

Bitcoin is modelled after physical coins and banknotes but it is purely digital. But! Most people still use a physical medium for accessing their bitcoin . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Technology

PIPEDA Breach Notification & Recording Starts Nov 1 – Are You Ready?

Starting Nov 1 2018 PIPEDA requires businesses to notify the Privacy Commissioner and affected individuals of any privacy breach that poses “a real risk of significant harm”.

It also requires businesses to keep a record of all breaches of security safeguards that involve personal information, even if there is no risk of harm. It must include details of why a breach does not pass the reporting threshold.

So simply dealing with a potentially harmful privacy breach when and if it happens is not sufficient compliance.

The Commissioner can ask to see that breach record at any time. Failure to comply . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Still More on Electronic Wills

Here are some further thoughts on how Canada might authorize electronic wills. Perhaps the Uniform Law Conference of Canada could use them in the mix of policy proposals when and if it takes up the topic, as it is almost bound to do sooner or later – as companion jurisdictions move towards law reform.

Speaking of those jurisdictions:

• In July, 2018, the Uniform Law Commission in the US gave first reading to its Uniform Electronic Wills Act. No further draft has been released to follow up on the discussion. The developments in that project so far are online at

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

Right to Be Forgotten Referred to Federal Court

The professed right to be forgotten, now placed on the global stage with The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and scrutiny by the Court of Justice on extraterritorial application, may finally get some judicial ruling on the matter in Canada.

This week, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada announced they have filed a Notice of Application to the Federal Court to weigh in on the many challenges around implementing this right under Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA),

In particular, the reference asks whether Google’s search engine service collects, uses or discloses personal information in

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

What Was the Second Line at ClioCloud9?

It’s Thursday evening in New Orleans, Oct 4, halfway through the Clio Cloud Conference. Following Jack Newton’s opening keynote it’s easy to tell we’re on the front lines of legal tech. Some solid intel :

  • Lexicata and Clio GrowLos Angeles-based Lexicata — a client intake and CRM tool that’s optimized to work as an integration with Clio — has been acquired by the ambitious British Columbia-based legal tech company and conference host. The move effectively grows the practice management tool beyond its base fitness to deal with active client files and practice management (time keeping, document management,
. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology: Office Technology

Copyright Notice & Notice Is Flawed

You may have read about the Supreme Court of Canada deciding Rogers can be paid its costs for telling a copyright owner the identity of movie downloading customers. What isn’t talked about is the notice and notice system that puts this in motion.

A summary of the Rogers v Voltage decision is here. Omar has written about this on Slaw as well.

This is a complex and controversial issue. The essence is that sections 41.25 and 41.26 of the Copyright Act allow the owner of a copyright (eg a movie studio) to create a notice to send to people . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet