snIP/ITs Insights on Canadian Technology and Intellectual Property Law

Monthly Archives: February 2016

Not so fast: High speed 5G network may be the future of connectivity, but not until a global standard is set

Posted in Telecommunications

5G was the hot topic at this week’s Mobile World Congress. The ultrafast wireless network will increase opportunities for businesses and consumers to connect through the internet. However, it likely will not be rolled out until 2019 as international bodies must still develop a global standard for 5G wireless technology. In the meantime, carriers and telecom equipment manufacturers are racing to set the bar for what constitutes 5G.

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology, characterized by dramatically increased data transfer speeds. For the consumer, this means being able to download entire movies within seconds. The … Continue Reading

Ready. Set. Code! Banks embrace hackathons to spur innovation and source talent

Posted in Intellectual Property

As part of the technological arms race in the financial services sector, banks and other financial institutions are increasingly embracing hackathons as a way to innovate consumer products and banking tools. These types of events can help spur innovation, engage potential employees, and produce valuable digital assets for the hosting firm.  However, at the same time, companies should be cautious about the intellectual property issues at stake.

A “hackathon” is a software coding competition that happens over a short period – usually a day or two – where participants compete to come up with innovative new programs or applications. Sometimes … Continue Reading

Insights from the I Spy conference on Big Data and Privacy

Posted in Privacy

On Friday February 5, 2016, we attended the I Spy: Opportunities and Challenges Surrounding Privacy and Big Data conference organized by the Osgoode JD/MBA Students’ Association. Speakers from industry, government and private practice explored the challenge organizations face in maximizing insights from big data while maintaining a respect for individual privacy.

While we often see major privacy breaches as the subject of front-page news stories, most breaches are actually unknown and unregulated. As the promise of new insights drives business to collect and analyze more data than ever before, it will be more and more important for organizations and governments … Continue Reading

Judicial Redress Act Grants European Citizens Legal Redress for Privacy Breaches in Transatlantic Data Sharing

Posted in Privacy

On Wednesday, February 10, 2016, the US took a step towards assuaging privacy concerns regarding transatlantic data transfers when the House passed a bill granting European citizens recourse to US Courts to protect treatment of their personal data. Now heading to President Obama for signature, the Judicial Redress Act would give European citizens the right to pursue legal action against certain US agencies in American courts if their personal data has been mishandled when used by the US in criminal and terror investigations. As the EU and US work out a framework to replace Safe Harbour in light of concerns … Continue Reading

IMF Report Calls for “Extensive International Cooperation” in Respect of Regulation of Virtual Currencies and Associated Technologies

Posted in Virtual Currency

Coinciding with a presentation at the recent 2016 World Economic Forum in Switzerland, the International Monetary Fund released a 42-page report (the “Report”) exploring the developments, the potential and the risks related to virtual currencies and certain associated technologies, most notably “blockchain” technology, a decentralized and networked ledger system for tracking and validating transactions. The Report begins by heralding “transformational change” in the global economy driven, in significant part, by new technologies and the emergence of virtual currencies. The IMF notes that virtual currency schemes and distributed ledger technologies are questioning the paradigm of fiat currency, the dominant roles of … Continue Reading

We Want Your Feedback! snIP/ITs Reader Survey

Posted in Uncategorized

Thanks for reading!  snIP/ITs continues to be one of McCarthy Tétrault’s most popular blogs, and we appreciate your attention.  But we are always looking for ways to improve.

So we want your feedback.  Please consider completing our short reader survey.  We are interested to know what topics you would like to see more (or less) of in the future.  (None of the questions involve personal or demographic information, but respondent IP addresses will be recorded.)… Continue Reading

CRTC CASL Compliance and Enforcement Update

Posted in Anti-Spam, Regulatory Compliance

On February 10, 2016, Lynne Perrault and Dana-Lynn Wood of the CRTC provided the latest in what is becoming a series of CASL briefings, which the presenters described as part of an “on-going dialogue” with industry. The CRTC now has a year and a half of enforcement experience under its belt for the Commercial Electronic Messages (CEMs) provisions of CASL, so this presentation focused on patterns and issues that have emerged in that period, and some guidance in response to those issues.  However, the presenters took some pains to note that the guidance offered was not intended to be prescriptive … Continue Reading

Keep It To Yourself: Ontario Court Introduces Tort of Public Disclosure in Doe v D, 2016 ONSC 541

Posted in Privacy

Following the 2012 decision of Jones v Tsige (“Jones”), there has been judicial debate in Canada over the recognition and adoption of common law privacy torts, such as the tort of intrusion upon seclusion.[1]  Recently, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Doe v D (“Doe”) expressly recognized the tort of “public disclosure of private facts” to expand the scope of privacy protection in Canadian common law.[2] … Continue Reading

EU-US Privacy Shield: Agreement in Principle on Framework To Replace Safe Harbour

Posted in Privacy

Regular readers of this blog will be aware that, last fall, the Court of Justice of the European Union struck down the Safe Harbour framework which permitted the lawful transfer of personal information from the EU to the US through a self-certification model.  Negotiations between the European and US authorities to update or replace the framework were already underway prior to this decision, but the Court’s intervention raised the stakes dramatically.  The Article 29 Working Party (WP29) had set a deadline of the end of January after which European Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) might begin coordinated enforcement actions against organizations … Continue Reading