Archive for the ‘Privacy’ category

Digital Privacy Act: Important work still to be done by the INDU Committee

November 10th, 2014

The Digital Privacy Act (Bill S-4) will make significant changes to Canadian privacy law when it is enacted. The amendments to PIPEDA have been in the making since 2007 following the statutory review of PIPEDA by the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics. The Bill has passed the Senate and was referred to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. The INDU Committee will begin considering the Bill on November 25, 2014.

Internet users’ privacy and anonymity protected by Supreme Court: R v Spencer

June 13th, 2014

Earlier today, the Supreme Court released a landmark decision dealing with privacy on the Internet. The main issue in R v Spencer 2014 SCC 43 was whether a user of the Internet has a reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her basic subscriber information held by the user’s ISP that prevents the police from obtaining this information from the ISP without a warrant or court order. Prior to the decision some courts had ruled that ISPs could turn over subscriber contact details associated with the person’s IP address to police without  a warrant or court order. The Court rejected this line of cases ruling that a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy associated with Internet activities and that the “lawful authority” exemption in PIPEDA does not create a basis to turn such information to the police.

Canada to amend PIPEDA with the Digital Privacy Act

April 8th, 2014

Bill S-4, the Digital Privacy Act (An Act to amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act,) was given First Reading in the Senate today.  The summary of the Bill describes the proposed amendments as follows:

Alberta PIPA violates Charter says Supreme Court in IPC v United Food and Commercial Workers

November 15th, 2013

The Supreme Court released a landmark decision today in the  Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401, 2013 SCC 62 case. In short, the Court found that while Alberta’s privacy legislation PIPA plays a vital role in protecting privacy, it violated the Charter right to freedom of expression by precluding the use of personal information in the labour context. The ruling is an appeal from a decision the Alberta Court of Appeal, which is summarized here.

The headnote of the case reads as follows:

Privacy Commissioners speak about Getting Accountability Right at CLHIA Conference

May 14th, 2013

Last week I had the pleasure of listening to a great talk titled “Privacy: Getting Accountability Right” at the 2013 Compliance and Consumer Complaints Annual Conference organized by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Asscoiation Inc. Taking place in sunny Vancouver (see below), the speakers were Barbara Bucknell of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jill Clayton, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Alberta, and Elizabeth Denham, Information and Privacy Commissioner, British Columba.

 

Vancouver Harbor

 

Here is a summary of their remarks.

The first question addressed to each panelist was the trends they were seeing in relation to privacy in the insurance industry.

Wiretap intercept rules apply to mobile text messages says Supreme Court: R v TELUS

March 28th, 2013

The Supreme Court decided yesterday that police are required to comply with Part VI of the Criminal Code if they want to secure the prospective and continuous production of text messages from a mobile carrier like TELUS. In R. v. TELUS Communications Co., 2013 SCC 16, the Court ruled that police cannot merely obtain a general warrant. Rather to obtain copies of text messages in these circumstances, they must obtain an intercept order and comply with the conditions needed to intercept voice communications.

IPC v UFCW Charter/privacy case going to Supreme Court (updated)

October 27th, 2012

If privacy legislation significantly impairs Charter rights do privacy rights or Charter rights prevail? Specifically, does an individual’s right to privacy for publically crossing a picket line under Alberta’s comprehensive privacy legislation Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) have to yield to a union’s right of free expression to film and disseminate that act under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? This question was answered in the affirmative by the Alberta Court of Appeal in United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401 v Alberta (Attorney General), 2012 ABCA 130. Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal the decision (now styled Inforrmation and Privacy Commissioner, et al. v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401, et al.)

Charter protects employees’ privacy in data stored on employer computers rules Supreme court in R v Cole

October 21st, 2012

The Supreme Court released its reasons in R. v. Cole, 2012 SCC 53 on Friday. It confirmed that a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy in his personal computer, even if it is owned by his or her employer. A police search of the computer without a warrant violated the accused’s rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, the evidence could nevertheless be admitted into evidence on the facts of the case.

The facts in R v Cole were summed up in the headnote of the case as follows:

Privacy protects anonymity in cyberbulling case says Supreme Court

September 28th, 2012

The Supreme Court released its reasons in the A.B. v. Bragg Communications Inc., 2012 SCC 46 case yesterday. The main issue in the case was whether the privacy interests of a child to keep her identity anonymous in legal proceedings outweighed the open court principle.

The case arose from a 15-year-old girl finding out that someone had posted a Facebook profile using her picture, a slightly modified version of her name, and other particulars identifying her. Accompanying the picture was some unflattering commentary about the girl’s appearance along with sexually explicit references. The page was removed by the internet provider later that month.

Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2011-2012)

June 21st, 2012

Here are the slides used in my presentation to the Toronto Computer Lawyers Group earlier today, The Year in Review: Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2011-2012). It covers significant developements since my talk last spring, Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2010-2011).

The slides include a summary of the following cases:

Kraft Real Estate Investments, LLC v Homeway.com, Inc. 2012 WL 220271 (D.S.Car. Jan 24, 2012)

Swift v. Zynga Game Network, Inc., 805 F.Supp.2d 904, (N.D.Cal., 2011)

Fteja v. Facebook, Inc., 2012 WL 183896 (S.D.N.Y. 2012)

Grosvenor v. Qwest Corp., 2012 WL 602655 (D.Colo., 2012)