Archive for April 5th, 2010

State Farm Challenges Constitutionality of Canadian Privacy Law

Later this month, the Federal Court of Canada will hear a case in Halifax that threatens Canada's privacy law framework.  State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. is contesting the constitutional validity of Canada's private sector privacy legislation (PIPEDA), arguing it oversteps the federal government's jurisdictional power.  My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) argues that if successful, PIPEDA would no longer apply to thousands of Canadian businesses and new legislation such as the Electronic Commerce Protection Act (ECPA) would be imperilled.

The case stems from a dispute over an insurance claim arising from a March 2005 automobile accident. Gerald Gaudet, the injured party, asked State Farm to provide copies of all names, addresses, and phone numbers of anyone to whom it disclosed his personal information (State Farm had used a private investigator to conduct surveillance on Gaudet).  After State Farm refused to disclose the information, Gaudet filed a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

The Privacy Commissioner proceeded to launch an investigation into the case, asking State Farm to provide it with the requested information. The insurance company again refused, leading to the Federal Court case.

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April 5, 2010 6 comments Columns

State Farm Challenges Constitutionality of Canadian Privacy Law

Appeared in the Toronto Star on April 5, 2010 as State Farm Challenges Canada's Privacy Law in Court Later this month, the Federal Court of Canada will hear a case in Halifax that threatens Canada's privacy law framework.  State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. is contesting the constitutional validity of […]

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April 5, 2010 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Government Plans National Digital Economy Consultation

The Canadian Press reports that the government plans to launch a national digital economy strategy consultation, with a discussion paper inviting public comment to be announced shortly.

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April 5, 2010 11 comments Must Reads

Globe on Canada’s Digital Divide

The Globe and Mail featured a lengthy story on Canada's digital divide over the weekend, noting the challenges for many rural communities in Canada seeking Internet access.

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April 5, 2010 4 comments Must Reads