BlogsCanada.ca
"The Pulse of Canada "

 
Please Give Stumble a Thumbs Up!
 

 
General

Why the Digital Privacy Act Undermines Our Privacy: Bill S-4 Risks Widespread Warrantless Disclosure

Posted April 9, 2014 by Michael Geist

Earlier this week, the government introduced the Digital Privacy Act (Bill S-4),
the latest attempt to update Canada’s private sector privacy law. The
bill is the third try at privacy reform stemming from the 2006 PIPEDA
review, with the prior two b…

Full Story »

 
General

U.S. Calls Out Canadian Data Protection as a Trade Barrier

Posted April 1, 2014 by Michael Geist

The U.S. Trade Representative issued its annual Foreign Trade Barrier Report
on Monday. In addition to identifying the geographical indications
provisions in the Canada – EU Trade Agreement, telecom foreign ownership
rules, and Canadian content regulations as barriers, the USTR discussed
regulations on cross-border data flows. I wrote about the issue recently, noting that the Canadian government restricted access to its single email initiative to Canadian-based hosting.

The USTR picks up on the same issue in its report:

The strong growth of cross-border data flows resulting from
widespread adoption of broadband-based services in Canada and the United
States has refocused attention on the restrictive effects of privacy
rules in two Canadian provinces, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia.
These provinces mandate that personal information in the custody of a
public body must be stored and accessed only in Canada unless one of a
few limited exceptions applies. These laws prevent public bodies such as
primary and secondary schools, universities, hospitals,
government-owned utilities, and public agencies from using U.S. services
when personal information could be accessed from or stored in the
United States.

 
The Canadian federal government is consolidating information
technology services across 63 email systems under a single platform. The
request for proposals for this project includes a national security
exemption which prohibits the contracted company from allowing data to
go outside of Canada. This policy precludes some new technologies such
as “cloud” computing providers from participating in the procurement
process. The public sector represents approximately one-third of the
Canadian economy, and is a major consumer of U.S. services. In today’s
information-based economy, particularly where a broad range of services
are moving to “cloud” based delivery where U.S. firms are market
leaders; this law hinders U.S. exports of a wide array of products and
services.

This issue bears watching given the growing momentum for localized data
hosting conflicting with provisions in the Trans Pacific Partnership
that would seek to restrict such provisions.

Full Story »

 
General

How Telcos and ISPs Hand Over Subscriber Data Thousands of Times Each Year Without a Warrant

Posted April 1, 2014 by Michael Geist

The lawful access fight of 2012, which featured then-Public Safety
Minister Vic Toews infamously claiming that the public could side with
the government or with child pornographers, largely boiled down to
public discomfort with warrantless access to…

Full Story »

 
General

Privacy czar scolds federal employees over lost hard drive

Posted March 25, 2014 by The Canadian Press

Data on 583,000 Canada Student Loans Program borrowers went missing

The post Privacy czar scolds federal employees over lost hard drive appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Full Story »

 
General

If U.S. Cloud Computing Isn’t Good Enough for the Canadian Government, Why Should It Be for You?

Posted March 12, 2014 by Michael Geist

In August 2011, the federal government announced plans to consolidate
more than 100 different email systems used by over 300,000 employees
into a single, outsourced email system. While the email transition is
currently underway – Bell won the nearly…

Full Story »

 
General

Industry Canada Says “Modernizing Privacy Regime” Planned for 2014-15

Posted March 6, 2014 by Michael Geist

Industry Canada’s Report on Plans and Priorities for 2014-15 includes a notable paragraph on priorities for the digital economy.  The report states:

In 2014–15, Industry Canada will deliver the telecommunications
consumer commitments included in the 2013 Speech from the Throne. These
include taking legislative action to amend the Telecommunications Act to
reduce roaming costs and prevent wireless providers from charging other
companies more than they charge their own customers for mobile
services. The Department will also protect consumer interests by
encouraging compliance and adopting more effective remedies, including
administrative monetary penalties, when violations occur. Industry
Canada will continue to promote investment in high-speed broadband
networks for rural Canadians.


These priorities are an important part of a robust digital economy. Other elements will include: modernizing the privacy regime to better protect consumer privacy online;
monitoring the implementation of Canada’s anti-spam legislation; and
deepening analysis of Canada’s communications infrastructure.

While the telecom actions were expected, the commitment to modernizing
Canadian privacy laws is new (albeit long overdue).  Previous privacy
reform bills died on last year, leaving the government years behind in
addressing PIPEDA reform. The Industry Canada report suggests that some
legislative action may finally be on the way.

Full Story »

 
General

Obama backs limits on NSA phone collections from Americans and changes to overseas spying

Posted January 17, 2014 by The Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Seeking to calm a furor over U.S. surveillance, President Barack Obama on…

Full Story »


 

Followers