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Archive for ‘Technology’

The Fight Over Rules As Code

In this corner, Pia Andrews

Pia Andrews is the Executive Director of Digital Government for the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation of the Government of New South Wales in Australia. She is a self-described open data and open government “ninja.”

She recently shared some work her NSW Policy Lab is doing on Rules as Code or “RaC.”

A major idea in the “Rules as Code” community is that government legislation and regulation and policy can and probably should be drafted in two languages at the same time. It should be drafted in natural human language (in Canada English, French,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Analyzing Court Decisions According to Judges

“Law is reason free from passion.” – Aristotle

As a precedent based system, law lends itself nicely to predictive analytics. In predictive analytics, historical data is used to build a mathematical model. This model can then be used to predict what will happen next.

As case law becomes easier to access, many companies are developing predictive analytic tools based on case law. Predictive analytics can be focused on different areas of law. For example, predicting the outcomes of cases in employment, tax, insurance, or family law. Another area predictive analytics can be focused on are on the actors. For example, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Courthouse Libraries Helps BC’s Family Law Pros Get Organized With “FLO” — Relaunched With New Features at Lawbster.net

For the past couple years, Courthouse Libraries BC (CLBC) has been working with a committee of BC family law professionals to help them realize their vision for a “Family Law Organizer”. As of June 2019, CLBC is pleased to announce FLO’s relaunch with a much improved (and larger) collection of features and resources to connect and help practitioners. FLO’s community statement reads:

FLO is a community of legal professionals established to improve the practice of family law by encouraging dialogue and the free exchange of knowledge, building relationships within the family law bar and related professions, sharing precedents, papers and

. . . [more]
Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information: Information Management, Technology: Internet

Canada Introduces a Digital Charter to Better Protect Privacy

Misinformation and privacy have threatened the very foundations of Western democracy, and Canada has proposed a response – a Digital Charter.

An announcement this past week builds on the commitment made to join the Christchurch Call, to “bring together countries and tech companies in an attempt to bring to an end the ability to use social media to organise and promote terrorism and violent extremism.” The 10 Principles of the proposed Digital Charter are as follows:

1. Universal Access: All Canadians will have equal opportunity to participate in the digital world and the necessary tools to do so, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

First Reported Case of CBSA Seizure of Legal Files

I’ve previously highlighted the concerns of border officials seizing and reviewing information and documents protected by solicitor-client privilege found on electronic devices.

The first publicly reported case of this occurring was released this weekend, involving an lawyer from Toronto returning from Guatemala and Colombia on April 10,

“The policy’s outrageous,” said Toronto business lawyer, Nick Wright. “I think that it’s a breach of our constitutional rights.”

His thoughts follow a personal experience. After landing at Toronto’s Pearson Airport on April 10, he said the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) flagged him for an additional inspection — for no stated reason.

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Posted in: Technology

Are the Big Four Accounting Firms Poised to Dominate Law?

In Tomorrow’s Lawyers, Richard Susskind predicts that the Big Four Accounting Firms would overtake law firms in the years to come. Susskind explains that the accounting firms were forced to deal with disruption earlier than law firms. In the course of adapting to the disruption, the large accounting firms became more streamlined and became more creative in packaging services. As a result, Susskind predicts that the accounting firms would first begin to dominate law firms by eating into more routine legal work.

Yet again, Susskind’s predictions were correct. It was recently announced that Ernst & Young would be buying . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Microsoft Support for Windows 7 Ends Jan 2020

The issue

Microsoft supports its operating systems for only a fixed period of time after that version is replaced. For Windows 7 support ends in January 2020.

Why does it matter?

Microsoft will no longer provide bug fixes or security updates. And no longer provide technical support. Continuing to use Windows 7 after that date thus carries a higher risk of security problems and software incompatibility problems. About 40% of PC’s still use Windows 7, so a lot of computers need to be updated.

What do you need to do about it?

January 2020 sounds like it is a . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

Privacy Guidelines for Managing Emails

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta has published guidelines on how to manage emails to minimize organizational risks and expenses that could be caused by a privacy breach. The guidelines indicate that “In light of the vast quantities of email sent and received daily by an organization, email management is not just a records management issue, but is also a necessary business process” that should be managed in accordance with records management principles and the requirements of Alberta’s access to information and privacy legislation. Although the guidance provided in this document is directed at managing emails, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Bug Bounties

Are you looking for a side hustle to do something interesting and make a few dollars? Consider being an ethical hacker working for bug bounties. Many tech companies have formal programs that reward people for reporting bugs in their systems, such as security problems.

Bug bounty programs have proven valuable to businesses that create software or that have an online presence. Businesses have offered these programs for decades.

Some people make a few dollars when they stumble on a problem. Many actively and methodically search for problems, such as a 19 year old from Argentina who has made millions of . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Using Artificial Intelligence for Demeanour Evidence

Demeanour evidence holds a controversial role in evidence law. Centuries of common law have allowed trial judges to assess the behaviour, conduct, and mannerisms to make findings of credibility. Often these findings can be useful to judges, especially when the only evidence available on crucial determinations of fact is viva voce testimony from each side.

In “Relying on Demeanour Evidence to Assess Credibility during Trial – A Critical Examination,” Amna Qureshi provides some background on the use of demeanour evidence,

The fact that trial judges can and do assess credibility based on demeanour during trial has also been

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology

The Road to Automated & Connected Cars Is Not a Straight One

It seems that everyone is doing studies or adopting positions on automated/connected cars these days. That is understandable given the potential ramifications on subjects including safety, ability to function in adverse weather, infrastructure, traffic, public transit, cybersecurity, data volumes, privacy, liability, insurance, ethics, and jobs.

Level 5 (fully autonomous) self driving cars may not arrive for many years. Depending on who you ask, they are somewhere between a couple of years and a couple of decades away. Level 2 (cars with some driver assist tech like automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control) cars are common today.

Transport Canada has . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

No Bitcoin Fund in Ontario, Says OSC

Last month the Ontario Securities Commission refused to approve a prospectus for a fund that proposed to invest in bitcoin. The investment did not have enough liquidity, i.e. investors could not be certain enough that they could sell their investment when they wanted to. A summary is here.

The OSC also had concerns about the valuation of bitcoin (surprise!) and its safekeeping. Given the number of thefts of cryptocurrency in recent years, and the Quadriga mess, the latter concern may be justified as well.

What do you think? Is the OSC just doing its job, or is it not . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list