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Archive for ‘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

Cloud Data Should Stay Grounded in Border Searches

Crossing the American border with electronic devices has long been a concern for both the public and lawyers in Canada. Border officials have always had more power to inspect or search electronic devices than domestic police, but this has also raised some concerns for American citizens as well.

While the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), does not apply to data stored on a personal device, this information is still protected in the U.S. under the Fourth Amendment. The notable exceptions to this include search incident to arrest and border searches. The Supreme Court of the United States has justified this . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

An Algorithm’s Charter Rights

Everywhere I go during the holidays I seem to be surrounded by Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Assistant. While these computers don’t yet talk the way do, it did have me thinking about the expression rights that might be protected by the Charter.

In 1996, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in Daniel J. Bernstein et al., v. United States Department of State et al. that software source could be protected under the American First Amendment,

…the particular language one chooses change the nature of language for First Amendment purposes. This court can

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

8 Legal/Tech Issues for 2018

Blockchain (the technology behind Bitcoin) is in a hype phase. It has been touted as the solution to many issues around trust. To some extent blockchain is still a solution in search of a problem. Blockchain will, however, become an important technology, and perhaps during 2018 we will begin to see some practical uses.

CASL, Canada’s anti-spam legislation, has been under review. It is a horrible law where the cost / benefit ratio is way off. Most small businesses simply don’t have the resources to comply. And no matter how hard they try, larger businesses have a difficult time complying . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Robot Citizen?

I’m sure you’ve noticed the fairly substantial increase in the buzz around artificial intelligence (AI) these days. And, generally speaking, I am at once intrigued and honestly sometimes a little frightened by what seems to be on our horizon.

Case in point. You’ve probably seen the recent Sophia sensation, the humanoid robot built by Hanson Robotics. Sophia is engaging, seems intelligent, has a sense of humour and made history in October when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia granted “her” citizenship.

Hanson Robotics founder and CEO David Hanson’s approach to artificial intelligence is to create human-like robots that . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

I Was a Messenger Spoof Victim


A few days ago I returned to my office after a meeting to find emails and voicemails telling me that someone was sending facebook messenger messages pretending they were from me. The first message sent was an innocuous “Hello, how are you doing?” But if the recipient engaged it quickly turned into how I got a $300,000 government grant to pay off my bills, and tried to convince the recipient to send an email to “the agent in charge” to see if they were eligible. I suspect if followed through it would either ask for payment of a loan . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology