Video

The Canadian DMCA: What You Can Do

With the Canadian version of the DMCA likely to be introduced within the next two weeks, there has a remarkable outpouring of interest from individual Canadians about what they can do to have their concerns heard.  The unfortunate reality is that there is nothing can be done about what the bill will look like when it is introduced – Industry Minister Jim Prentice has simply decided discard consumer, education, research, and privacy interests, ignore his own party's policy platform, and the cave into U.S. pressure.  Once the bill is introduced, however, Canadians can send a message to their MPs, the Ministers, and others, calling for a fair copyright bill that addresses Canadian concerns (those in Calgary can do so in person on December 8th as Prentice hosts an open house).

Many people have pointed to the my 30 Things You Can Do posting.  I've decided to update the posting – and create a short YouTube video – to better reflect the current situation.  I've also launched a Facebook group called Fair Copyright.  The next 60 days are absolutely crucial.  If Canadians speak out in large numbers, the government may rethink its current strategy of fast-tracking the Canadian DMCA.

What can you do?

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December 2, 2007 57 comments News, Video

Privacy Threats No Longer ‘Terra Incognita’

Video regarding Data Protection and Privacy Commissioner’s conference and closing remarks.

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October 8, 2007 Comments are Disabled Video

The Future of Privacy: Privacy Threats No Longer “Terra Incognita”

Last week the privacy world gathered in Montreal for the most important global privacy conference on the calendar. The International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioner's conference brings together hundreds of privacy commissioners, government regulators, business leaders, and privacy advocates who spend three days grappling with emerging issues.  I was privileged to be asked to provide some concluding remarks in the final plenary and my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, Ottawa Citizen version, homepage version) is a shortened version of that address.

This year's conference theme was "Terra Incognita," a reference to the unknown lands that typify the fear of the unknown in a world of rapidly changing technologies that challenge the core principles of privacy protection.  Yet despite a dizzying array of panels on new technologies such as ubiquitous computing, radio frequency identification devices (RFID), and nanotechnology, it was a reference by U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff to a simple fingerprint that struck the strongest chord.

Canada last hosted the conference in 1996 and it quickly became apparent that privacy has become virtually unrecognizable in the intervening eleven years.  The technological challenges were on display throughout the event including eye-opening presentations on the privacy impact of popular children's websites such as Webkinz and Neopets, on genetic innovation that is pushing the boundaries of science without regard for privacy, and on the continual shift toward tiny devices that can be used to collect and disclose personal information.

The conference placed the spotlight the growing "toolkit" of responses, including privacy audits of both public and private sector organizations, privacy impact assessments that are used to gauge the effect of new regulations and corporate initiatives, trust seals that include corporate compliance programs, and emphasis on global cooperation in a world where personal data slips effortlessly across borders. While the effectiveness of these measures has improved in recent years, there remained a pervasive sense that these responses are inadequate.

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October 2, 2007 2 comments Columns, Conferences, Keynote Speaking, Video

The CBC on Net Libel Chill

Segment from The National on Internet Libel.

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August 17, 2007 Comments are Disabled Video

Putting Canadian “Piracy” in Perspective

Video regarding piracy created in collaboration with Daniel Albahary.

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July 11, 2007 Comments are Disabled Video