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Category Archives: Privacy

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2013 Technology Law Year in Review

Posted in Consumer Protection, Contracting/Outsourcing, E-Commerce, M&A/Finance, Privacy, Regulatory Compliance

2013 was a very active year in the tech sector in Canada.  Some of the leading developments over the last year are summarised below. Tech Transactions – Turbulent Year for BlackBerry (Fairfax transaction) 2013 was a turbulent year for the Canadian leader of the telecommunications industry. It started with a change of name, from Research… → Read More

Recent Lessons in Preparing for and Responding to Security Breaches

Posted in Privacy

Target recently acknowledged that it suffered a massive security breach over the holiday season between November 27 and December 15.  The result of the breach was that over 110 million credit and debit accounts which include customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the three-digit security codes were stolen. It was… → Read More

The Right to be Forgotten

Posted in Privacy, Social Media

This past October, the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affaires (“LIBE”) voted in favour of a major reform of the current European Union (“EU”) data protection regime consisting of the Data Protection Directive, introduced in 1995, and national legislative works existing across EU member states. Intended as a response to privacy… → Read More

SCC Strikes Down Alberta Privacy Legislation on Speech Grounds

Posted in Privacy

This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada released Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401, 2013 SCC 62, an important decision relating to the intersection of freedom of expression and protection of privacy and, in the process, struck down Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act, SA 2003, c. P-6.5 (… → Read More

Under the Hood of Usage-Based Car Insurance: FSCO Issues Guidance on Privacy, Permissible Data Use, and Pricing

Posted in Privacy

The Next Big Thing in privacy is the advent of usage-based insurance (“UBI”), made possible by a telematics device – a small gizmo that plugs in to the diagnostic port of a car, monitors a driver’s driving habits, and sends that information wireless to an insurer/third party. Insurers in turn offer up to 25% savings… → Read More

Manitoba Joins the Ranks of Other Provinces in Enacting its Own Private Sector Privacy Legislation

Posted in Privacy

The government of Manitoba recently enacted the Personal Information Protection and Identity Theft Prevention Act (“PIPITPA”) to regulate the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by the private sector in Manitoba.[1] The statute has not come into force but this enactment is momentous, as it will enable Manitoba to join the ranks of Alberta,… → Read More

Personal Information and Privacy Issues in Business Transactions: Part 2

Posted in M&A/Finance, Privacy

In a previous blog entry we canvassed Canadian privacy legislation and offered businesses a cursory review on how to collect, use and disclose personal information legally in the context of a business transaction. Adding to that information, this entry will look at issues that arise during the due diligence phase of a business transaction and… → Read More

Personal Information and Privacy Issues in Business Transactions: Part 1

Posted in M&A/Finance, Privacy

The free flow of information is essential to all business transactions and presents both opportunities and obligations for the organizations involved. Inadequate appreciation for the complexity of privacy legislation and the related implications can become not only an obstacle but a liability. This will be the first part in a series of articles that canvass… → Read More

Failure to properly wipe data from recycled server costs company $250K, an apology and 160,000 letters of notice

Posted in Privacy

In a tale of best intentions gone wrong, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta (“Commissioner”) recently found in Bow Valley College (Re), 2013 CanLII 52666 (AB OIPC) that an educational institution that recycled its servers without ensuring the data on them had been wiped had not met privacy requirements. The decision… → Read More

Tech Summit 2013 Recap – Innovation in Cloud

Posted in Contracting/Outsourcing, Privacy

At McCarthy Tétrault’s 3rd Annual Technology Law Summit, moderator Barry Sookman, and panelists John LeBlanc of Scotiabank and David Crane of McCarthy Tétrault, lead a discussion on procuring and contracting for cloud based services. Top takeaway tips from the session include: Cloud is Everywhere: Be cognisant that software and services that use the cloud may… → Read More

New Electronic Health Records Legislation on the Horizon in Ontario

Posted in Privacy, Regulatory Compliance

The Liberal government in Ontario has introduced significant new amendments to its health privacy legislation, the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). While there are many important aspects to the new legislation, one key aspect involves significant new responsibilities imposed on “prescribed organizations” or “PO”s in the proposed amendments to PHIPA. Sections 55.1 and 55.12… → Read More

Federal Privacy Commissioner proposes changes to PIPEDA to address challenges of Big Data

Posted in Privacy, Regulatory Compliance

On May 23, 2013, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (the “Privacy Commissioner”) has released a position paper (“Position Paper“) calling for substantial changes to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act(“PIPEDA”). The Privacy Commissioner argues that PIPEDA is currently insufficient to meet the challenges posed by the advent of technology that… → Read More

Status Update: Social Media in the Changing Landscape of Litigation in Canada

Posted in E-Discovery, Privacy

Information disseminated through social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn is of growing utility in litigation matters. Evidence obtained from social media accounts by way of discovery preservation and production orders has significantly strengthened the positions of litigating parties. This should come as no surprise as individuals routinely “post” messages, thoughts, pictures and experiences… → Read More

Interdiction de publicité destinée aux enfants : le nouveau guide de l’OPC

Posted in Privacy

L’Office de la protection du consommateur (« OPC ») lance son nouveau guide d’application des articles 248 et 249 de la Loi sur la protection du consommateur (« LPC ») concernant la publicité à but commercial destinée à des personnes de moins de 13 ans. Le Québec est la seule juridiction en Amérique du Nord ayant adopté des dispositions… → Read More

OPC Issues Privacy Guidelines for Developing Mobile Apps

Posted in Privacy

The offices of the Privacy Commissioners of Canada, Alberta, and B.C. have jointly issued guidelines on good privacy practices for developing mobile applications. The guidelines highlight the need to maintain good privacy practices in the rapidly evolving world of the mobile environment. Today, cell phones enable users to do much more than simply make phone… → Read More

Federal Court Holds No Damages for Trivial Privacy Breaches

Privacy Damage Awards under Section 16 of PIPEDA

Posted in Privacy

The recent decision Townsend v. Sun Life Financial adds to the emerging case law on privacy damage awards under Section 16 of Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. In Townsend, the Court refused to award to damages to Mr. Townsend, who had alleged that Sun Life disclosed his medical information to a third party… → Read More

Preparing for and Responding to Security Breaches

Posted in Privacy

In the wake of security breaches reported at LinkedIn and eHarmony, now may be a good time for businesses to re-acquaint themselves with the applicable statutory framework for the protection of personal information in Canada as well as implement or update policies and procedures around breach detection and notification. Reports of Recent Security Breaches On… → Read More

OIPC Cloud Computing Guidelines for BC Public Bodies

Posted in Contracting/Outsourcing, Privacy, Regulatory Compliance

Recently, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia published cloud computing guidelines for public bodies in British Columbia. The purpose of the guidelines is to provide information to public bodies about how BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (BC FIPPA) applies to cloud computing. What is Cloud Computing?… → Read More

Hot Off the Press – Doing Business in Canada 2012

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property, M&A/Finance, Patents, Privacy, Trade-marks

If your organization is currently thinking about establishing or acquiring a technology business in Canada, the 2012 edition of Doing Business in Canada, written by McCarthy Tétrault, will prove to be a valuable resource. The guide provides a broad overview of the legal considerations that non-residents should take into account to help ensure their success… → Read More