I’m new to the cloud, just having opened a Dropbox account a couple of weeks ago. Still even to a newbie like me its clear that cloud computing on a larger scale can raise many legal issues about privacy and security. As it turns out the potential new law and policy issues are many. To address these issues the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law is hosting an all-day conference on Friday October 14 entitled Cloudlaw: Law and Policy in the Cloud. The conference will consider the issues that may arise . . . [more]
Archive for ‘Technology: Office Technology’
Medical data is one of the most sensitive types of data and, like lawyers, some doctors have reservations about storing confidential client data “in the cloud.” The security of storing Electronic Health Records and related data on-premise is perceived by many doctors to be more secure than cloud-based alternatives.
This thinking is challenged by a US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) study that assesses the root cause of significant data breaches involving health information. The study finds the top causes of breaches of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to be:
- Physical theft of devices /
While Dropbox continues to lead the way in easy-to-use cloud-based file synchronization, recent security- and privacy-related lapses have left many Dropbox-loving lawyers looking for alternatives. To date there has been a lack of viable options, but AeroFS, a new startup, is looking to become the Dropbox for security-conscious users.
AeroFS offers the same ease-of-use that characterizes Dropbox, but adds a new spin to how file synchronization works: rather than storing your files in the “cloud”, as is the case with Dropbox, AeroFS synchronizes files directly between your devices via an encrypted channel. This “peer-to-peer” synchronization technique means your data never . . . [more]
Back in May, David Whelan wrote an excellent column on the pressures law firms experience because of consumer technology products titled The Core of Legal Technology. This month, the Law Society Gazette (UK) contained an article titled Technology in law firms transformed by ‘consumerisation’. Today I found a clever way to get the alternate spelling into the keywords of this article. Clever keyword content is not what I want to write about though.
I want to share three ideas to help law firm technology departments cope with the issue of consumer (and by this I mean Partner) demand . . . [more]
E-mail’s days as a communication medium that offers a “reasonable expectation of privacy” may be numbered.
The ABA’s newly issued Formal Opinion 11-459 revisits the topic of e-mail security, and offers the following concluding paragraph:
. . . [more]
A lawyer sending or receiving substantive communications with a client via e-mail or other electronic means ordinarily must warn the client about the risk of sending or receiving electronic communications using a computer or other device, or e-mail account, to which a third party may gain access. The risk may vary. Whenever a lawyer communicates with a client by e-mail, the lawyer must first consider
Paul Venezia of InfoWorld asks why the fax machine refuses to die. In what is a bit of a rant rather than a reasoned analysis, Venezia advises:
Consider what a fax machine actually is: a little device with a sheet feeder, a terrible scanning element, and an ancient modem. Most faxes run at 14,400bps. That’s just over 1KB per second — and people are still using faxes to send 52 poorly scanned pages of some contract to one another. Over analog phone lines. Sometimes while paying long-distance charges! The mind boggles.
A few reasons come to mind as to . . . [more]
Bloomberg announced this morning that it was acquiring the legal publisher, BNA for $990,000,000.
Bloomberg will acquire all 25,116,830 outstanding shares of BNA for $39.50 per share in cash for a total purchase price of approximately $990 million.
It is a key development in Bloomberg’s strategy to challenge Thomson West and Reed Elsevier in the lucrative legal information market.
Normally, prices aren’t given so this one is revealing – the . . . [more]
According to the Google Docs Blog today, they’re introducing the ability to control access to documents at the page level:
Using page-level permissions, you can make some pages private for certain users while keeping other pages public for everyone to see. For instance, let’s say you have a Google Site that you’ve shared with your team and your manager. You can allow your team to see one set of pages, let your manager edit another set of pages, and keep yet another set of pages private for only you.
As is usually the case with innovations, they’re not available right . . . [more]
These are notes are from a panel presentation organized by the ABA Section on Labor and Employment Law at the American Bar Association 2011 conference in Toronto on Sunday, August 7, 2011. Panelists included Douglas E. Dexter, Farella Braun & Martell LLP, San Francisco; Roy L. Heenan, Heenan Blaikie LLP, Montreal; Mauricio Paez, Jones Day, New York; and Lauren Schwartzreich, Outten & Golden LLP, New York. The moderator was Cynthia E. Nance, Professor of Law, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas. Note: these are my selected notes from this session; any inaccuracies or omissions are my . . . [more]
First to BC where a committee of the Law Society of British Columbia, under the chairmanship of Gavin Hume, has produced the best and most thoughtful piece on how to practice ethically and effectively using cloud computing. We’ve referred in the past to helpful work done by the Bar Association in North Carolina and the ABA’s 20/20 Commission – see Jack Newton’s posts from May and July, as well as Connie’s and Omar’s take on last week’s ABA discussion.
At the Canadian Lawyer, David Paul has a good tip sheet of practical advice on the intelligent use . . . [more]
The past couple of weeks have offered an amazing ringside view of an unusually public and acrimonious debate over software patents.
First, This American Life aired When Patents Attack, a fantastic expose of Intellectual Ventures, a patent holding company owned by Microsoft’s one-time CTO Nathan Myhrvold. The episode leads listeners to the seemingly inevitable conclusion that companies like Intellectual Ventures are at the root of all that’s wrong with the US patent system. It’s a must-listen for anyone involved in, or merely interested in, intellectual property law.