Archive for April, 2018

Mobile spam by Christiaan Colen (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/yAjx4d

Government Response Suggests No Appetite for Canadian Anti-Spam Law Reform

The government released its response to the House of Commons study on Canada’s anti-spam law this week and while one report suggested that reforms are coming, the reality is that there appears to be little appetite for significant change. I wrote about the law’s effectiveness and appeared before the committee as part of the study.  The committee report stopped short of calling for an anti-spam law overhaul, instead recommending clarifications of several provisions in the law.

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April 20, 2018 3 comments News
Google by Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/F58KT9

B.C. Court Leaves Google Global Takedown Order Intact Pending Full Trial

A British Columbia court has denied Google’s request to vary an injunction requiring it to remove search results from its global index, concluding that a U.S. ruling that did not demonstrate that the removal would result in a violation of U.S. law. The Google v. Equustek case has attracted international attention with the Supreme Court of Canada upholding a global takedown order. That decision noted that it was open to Google to raise potential conflict of laws with the B.C. court in the hopes of varying the order:

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April 20, 2018 2 comments News
Mark Zuckerberg's original Facebook profile by Niall Kennedy (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/apNav2

Be Careful What You Wish For: The Risk of Ceding Online Content Monitoring to Internet Giants

As elected officials place Internet giants such as Google and Facebook under an increasingly intense microscope, the pressure mounts on those companies to play more proactive roles in policing content on their networks. In recent weeks, the demands have come from seemingly every direction: privacy commissioners seeking rules on the removal of search results, politicians calling for increased efforts to address fake news on Internet platforms, and Internet users wondering why the companies are slow to takedown allegedly defamatory or harmful postings.

My Globe and Mail op-ed notes Internet companies can undoubtedly do more, but laying the responsibility primarily at their feet poses its own risks as governments and regulators effectively cede responsibility for content moderation and policing to private, for-profit companies. In doing so, there is a real chance that the Internet giants will become even more powerful, limiting future competition and entrenching an uncomfortable reliance on private organizations for activities that are traditionally conducted by courts and regulators.

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April 19, 2018 8 comments Columns
What Personal Data Journal covered in Issue 3. by Phil Wolff (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/c57KLG

Data Rules in Modern Trade Agreements: The Video

Earlier this month, CIGI posted my essay contribution to its series on data governance in the digital age. Data Rules in Modern Trade Agreements: Toward Reconciling an Open Internet with Privacy and Security Safeguards focuses on the policy challenges associated with including data provisions in trade agreements such as the TPP and NAFTA. I also sat down with CIGI for a short video on the essay. It is embedded below.

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April 18, 2018 0 comments News
105-IMG_0002-OTSummitt2017-6x9 by BCcampus_News (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/VjyUdx

Digital Trends and Initiatives in Education: The Study the Association of Canadian Publishers Tried To Bury

The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology starts its year-long review of copyright today with the first of several hearings focused on copyright, education and fair dealing. The hearings begin with evidence from education groups to be followed by publishers and other rights holder representatives (sources indicate that Access Copyright declined an invitation but will presumably return at a later date). The Association of Canadian Publishers, the leading national publisher lobby, has been one of the most vocal groups on copyright and will likely appear to tell MPs that fair dealing should be narrowed.

While the ACP has not hesitated to speak out at industry events, it interestingly has said nothing about a study it commissioned on digital trends and initiatives in education in Canada. The ACP study, which received financial support from the Government of Canada and the Ontario Media Development Corporation, is not posted on the publicly available portion of its website. There was no press release when it was released last June and I can find no public reference to it anywhere on the site. Jean Dryden pointed out to me that the study is available through the OMDC.

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April 17, 2018 7 comments News