Archive for December, 2014

EU-Canada signing ceremony by European Union http://tvnewsroom.consilium.europa.eu/event/eu-canada/eu-canada-signing-ceremony#/gallery/0

Canada – European Union Data Sharing Agreement Sent to EU Court of Justice for Review

Earlier this year, Canada and the European Union announced that they had reached agreement on sharing airline passenger name record data. The data shared includes names, addresses, and credit card numbers of airline passengers. The agreement was signed in June (video of the signing here), but approval from the European Parliament was required. In light of growing privacy concerns, that approval has proven more difficult to obtain than previously anticipated.

Rather than simply grant approval, the European Parliament has narrowly voted to send the agreement to the European Court of Justice for review to ensure that it is compliant with European law including EU treaties and the European Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the final vote was 383 to 271 with 47 abstentions). The resolution notes that the European Data Protection Supervisor (effectively the Privacy Commissioner for the EU) issued an opinion in September 2013 that questioned the necessity and proportionality of agreements to transfer passenger information between jurisdictions. The EDPS opinion features an extensive review of the agreement and raises pointed questions about specific provisions along with numerous recommendations for reform.

The decision means that the Canada – EU data sharing agreement will be delayed by at least one to three years while the court conducts its review. The review will raise several important privacy issues including the effectiveness of exchanging passenger information in combating terrorism and the state of Canadian privacy law. The European Court of Justice has already struck down the European Data Retention Directive, suggesting that this agreement could also face tough scrutiny.

Read more ›

December 3, 2014 Comments are Disabled News
open government data (scrabble) by justgrimes (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/ddn3jP

What Open Government Hides

Treasury Board President Tony Clement unveiled the latest version of his Open Government Action Plan last month, continuing a process that has seen some important initiatives to make government data such as statistical information and mapping data publicly available in open formats free from restrictive licenses.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes there is much to like about Canada’s open government efforts, which have centred on three pillars: open data, open information, and open dialogue. Given the promise of “greater transparency and accountability, increased citizen engagement, and driving innovation and economic opportunity”, few would criticize the aspirational goals of Canada’s open government efforts. Yet scratch the below the surface of new open data sets and public consultations and it becomes apparent that there is much that open government hides.

Read more ›

December 1, 2014 8 comments Columns

What Open Government Hides

Appeared in the Toronto Star on November 29, 2014 as What Open Government Hides Treasury Board President Tony Clement unveiled the latest version of his Open Government Action Plan last month, continuing a process that has seen some important initiatives to make government data such as statistical information and mapping […]

Read more ›

December 1, 2014 1 comment Columns Archive