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Archive for ‘Technology’

The Limits of Complex Algorithms in Predicting Recidivism

In the “Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies: Criminological Highlights” published by the University of Toronto, the ability of complex algorithms to predict recidivism or re-offending while on pretrial release is discussed. In a study by Julia Dressel and Hany Farid, the researchers assessed the accuracy of algorithm based prediction system COMPAS.

They looked at data from 7,214 defendants in one county in Florida. They compared the predictions made by COMPAS to two other sources of predictions: (1) Ordinary statistical predictive models and (2) Intuitive predictions by ordinary people.

Dressel and Farid found that COMPAS’s prediction of recidivism (arrest within . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

When Does a Technical Standard Become a Legal Standard of Care?

The Guardian reports us that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is close to adopting a new authentication standard that can replace passwords. This would be some kind of “who you are” (biometric) or “what you have” (token, phone to receive code) method of authentication, rather than a “what you know” password. (I suppose a code sent to your phone is what you know, but you know it only case by case, because you have another communications channel.)

Some web services already work this way, as the article notes – or does in special cases, as when one is logging . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

New Stuff & Old Laws

A common issue for new technology is the application of existing laws that were created before the new tech was contemplated. Examples include fintech (financial applications), fitness and health applications, and ridesharing services (such as Uber).

What is the issue?

Some activities and services are highly regulated. Financial services and the taxi industry are good examples. New entrants create innovative applications and services that compete with incumbents, but may or may not be regulated the same.

In some areas the entity may be regulated rather than the activity (often the case in fintech).

Laws sometimes prescribe a specific solution, rather . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Osgoode AI Sets Vision for Canadian Leadership

When the Government of Canada earmarked $125 million for a Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, it was premised on the assumption that this area will be a future economic growth engine,

Artificial intelligence is a burgeoning area of research with implications for everything from better medical diagnoses to self-driving cars. The market for artificial intelligence-related products is predicted to reach $47 billion in 2020, and the field has attracted significant investment from Google, Facebook, Baidu and other major technology players.

The 2018 Budget reaffirmed this commitment, with one of the five innovation superclusters focusing on artificial intelligence-powered supply chains that would . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology

Ontario Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report 2017

The 2017 Ontario Accessibility Compliance and Enforcement Report is now available online and outlines the activities undertaken by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario in 2017 to oversee compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and its accessibility standards.

The report explains the results of the December 31st compliance reporting obligations of obligated organizations, and the various audits and inspections conducted by the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario in 2017. Overall, the report clearly indicates that there is a lot of enforcement work still needing to be done for Ontario to reach the goal of becoming an accessible province . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Recent Report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics

Written wholly by Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, and PhD candidate at the University of Western Ontario

In February 2018, the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics released a report that summarized issues and recommendations concerning the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

The report was authored by Bob Zimmer, the Chair of the Standing Committee, and presented to the House of Commons in the first session of the 42nd Parliament.

More specifically, the report was generated following the decision to undertake a review of PIPEDA. This review began February 14, 2017; it consisted of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet

Should Artificial Intelligence Be Regulated?

Elon Musk spoke at SXSW and emphasized his concerns about artificial intelligence and why it needs to be regulated.

What is the issue?

Elon says AI is more dangerous than nuclear warheads.

Right now, AI is created for specific tasks, such as driving a car, playing a game, responding to our voice commands, or providing personal recommendations. AI today is nowhere near as capable in general than even a moth brain, and most people think general artificial intelligence is a long way off. But Elon says “I am really quite close, I am very close, to the cutting edge in . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Draft OPC Position on Online Reputation and Public Consultation

On Friday, January 26, 2018, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) released a draft of their position regarding online reputation and on how Canadians can better protect their online privacy and rights.

The draft report is the result of a 2016 consultation on online reputations. Through this consultation, the OPC was soliciting input from interested stakeholders about new and innovative ways to protect reputational privacy. Reputation and Privacy is one of the OPC’s four strategic privacy priorities. A summary of the 28 submissions received is posted online on the OPC website.

Summarizing the report

The draft . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet

What Happens to Cryptocurrencies When You Die?

Blockchain removes intermediaries from transactions. For the most part that’s a good thing – but it can also have unintended consequences. For example, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin flow between people much like paper money would be handed over. No financial institution is involved in the transaction. The same is true for other assets being tracked by blockchain technology, such as corporate shares.

When someone dies or becomes incapacitated, trustees or attorneys typically get control of that person’s assets through the intermediary. For example, if a trustee knows that the person has a bank account at bank X, they merely contact the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Introducing Insta-Service

Service of court documents on a party evading service has always been challenging. Canadian Lawyer Magazine reported a recent case in Ontario where a judge granted effective service by Instagram,

When Toronto lawyer Tara Vasdani could not track down a defendant she was looking to serve, she turned to Instagram…

She first attempted to serve the defendant on Sept. 1, 2017, using a physical address, and her process servers were told the defendant had moved away. She then tried using email, with a read receipt, but her messages were either ignored or never read.

The order Vasdani obtained appears to . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Videos With Fake Faces – What Legal Remedy?

Professor Eric Goldman of UC Santa Clara writes about new technology that allows adept editors to put someone’s face on a video of someone else. That can produce comic results, but it can also be a kind of revenge porn, or just nasty porn, if one puts a well-known face on a body doing pornographic things.

Prof. Goldman says it is hard to conceive of a legal remedy guaranteed to be effective for the person whose face is used. He discusses copyright and defamation and finds them limited.

He does not pay much attention to privacy, since U.S. privacy laws . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Challenges Around the Right to Be Forgotten in Canada

This past Friday, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released a draft position on online reputation which includes a call for several measures that help protect Canadians, including the right to ask search engines to de-index web pages and removing information at the source.

In the accompanying press release, Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien stated,

There is little more precious than our reputation. But protecting reputation is increasingly difficult in the digital age, where so much about us is systematically indexed, accessed and shared with just a few keystrokes. Online information about us can easily be distorted or

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