Wiertz Sebastien - Privacy by Sebastien Wiertz (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/ahk6nh

Wiertz Sebastien - Privacy by Sebastien Wiertz (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/ahk6nh

Privacy

Google Search Engine CC0 Creative Commons https://pixabay.com/en/google-search-engine-76522/

Does Canadian Privacy Law Apply to Google Search?

Last week, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada filed a reference with the federal court in a case that was billed as settling the “right to be forgotten” issue. Yet a careful read of the application reveals that the case isn’t about the right to be forgotten. Rather, it involves a far more basic issue: is Google’s search engine service subject to PIPEDA, Canada’s private sector privacy law? The case arises due to a right-to-be-forgotten complaint (a complainant wants search results referencing news articles they say are outdated, inaccurate, and disclose sensitive information removed from the Google search index), but the court is not being asked whether the current law includes a right-to-be-forgotten. Instead, the very application of Canadian privacy law to Google search is at stake.

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October 16, 2018 6 comments News
cloud_computing-1 by Lou Gold (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/7PBavj

How Canada Surrendered Policy Flexibility for Data Localization Rules in the USMCA

The digital policy implications of the USMCA have attracted increasing attention as Canadians consider the risks that the agreement could limit future policy flexibility. In particular, the agreement restricts the use of data localization, an increasingly popular legal method for addressing public interest concerns associated with the collection of online information by mandating that data be stored within the local jurisdiction. Restrictions on data localization are not entirely new to Canada, since similar provisions are found in the CPTPP (the successor to the Trans Pacific Partnership). That means that Canada has already agreed to limits on data localization with or without the USMCA. However, the USMCA’s data localization provision differs in a significant way, suggesting that the Canadian government has agreed to an even more restrictive approach than that found in the CPTPP.

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October 10, 2018 4 comments News
Display Binary Bytes Code by Markus Spiske / ffcu.io  Creative Commons Zero – CC0 – Public Domain

Setting the Standard?: How the USMCA Quietly Reshapes Global Digital Trade Agreements

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is more than just an updated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement. With the inclusion of a digital trade chapter, the deal sets a new standard for e-commerce that seems likely to proliferate in similar agreements around the world. My Washington Post op-ed notes that negotiators have touted the benefits of addressing modern forms of commerce, but the reality is that the USMCA digital trade chapter raises many concerns, locking in rules that will hamstring online policies for decades by restricting privacy safeguards and hampering efforts to establish new regulation in the digital environment.

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October 4, 2018 2 comments Columns
Foreign Minister Freeland, U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer and Mexican Ministry of Economy Guajardo Participate in the Fourth Round of NAFTA Negotiations by US Department of State, US government work, https://flic.kr/p/Zyj1pK

Crunch Time in the NAFTA Negotiations: What’s at Play for Canada on Digital Policy

As the NAFTA negotiations hit a possible home stretch this week, the focal point has been primarily on issues such as dispute resolution, the dairy sector, and the auto industry. However, the digital policy issues will have huge implications for Canada and the outline of the agreement between the U.S. and Mexico suggests that Canada is facing considerable pressure to agree to changes to our copyright, patent, IP enforcement, and digital policy rules, contrary to our preferred negotiation approach.

The U.S. appears to be pushing for a TPP+ approach – the TPP provisions plus some additional changes it did not get as part of those negotiations. This is notable since Canadian authorities admitted that the TPP went far beyond any previous Canadian free trade agreement. The Canadian starting point is presumably the CPTPP,  the revised TPP where Canada successfully argued for the suspension of some of the U.S.-backed provisions. This post outlines five of the biggest issues that are likely at play, though many others such as de minimis rules for shipments that affect online commerce will be closely watched and could ultimately require future reforms.

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August 30, 2018 13 comments News
IAPP by forester401 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/Y4B7dW

PIPEDA at 20: Time for PIPEDA 2.0

Earlier this year, I had the honour of delivering a keynote address at the IAPP’s 2018 Canadian Privacy Symposium in Toronto. My talk argued that as Canada’s private sector privacy law turns 20 (it was first introduced in the fall of 1998), an updated statute is long overdue, focusing on issues such as enforcement, consent, and big data. A video of the talk has now been posted online. The slides can be accessed here.

 

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July 13, 2018 1 comment News