Dot Indicia

Dot”: Old English. A spot. A mark. A period used in applications as a name separator in files and web addresses. “Indicia”: Latin. Signs, indications, evidence. “Dot Indicia”: A personal blog examining marks and signs in our world about information, privacy and security.

The Law of Cybersecurity & In-House Counsel

Last month saw an interesting study emerge from the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University. It discusses the current and potential role of lawyers in the area of cybersecurity and the emerging, but still nascent, field of cybersecurity law. This is not a topic one sees today at CPD sessions for lawyers and that alone makes the paper worth reading, especially for corporate counsel. Read more »

The Canadian Privacy Cases of 2014

As we move more into 2015, I thought I’d put together my own list of the more interesting Canadian privacy cases of 2014. These are judicial decisions so there’s no Commissioner findings or orders here. Some of these I’ve blogged about; others I’ve simply noted for future reference. I’ve not seen a similar list so feel free to debate my choices and the order I’ve placed them. Read more »

Revenge Porn & Canadian Law

Whenever a new technology arrives, society always plays “catch up” to determine what norms to apply to the use of that technology. It’s probably how we got traffic lights after the advent of automobiles.  One “by-product” of smartphone cameras and the Internet is “revenge porn”. The Internet didn’t invent the problem but it sure magnifies it with devastating effect. Read more »

Federal Private Sector: Not just one regulator anymore?

Throughout history, no matter what country, the scope and application of constitutional power can be best described as a “contact sport”. In Canada, the game is played by two levels of government operating under a division of power that has evolved through constitutional case law  since 1867. A recent decision in Québec raises a new angle to consider for those companies who think they only have to deal with the federal OPC. Read more »

The Importance of Exceptions

When it comes to privacy and data protection, I often tell people that that while “rules” are important, the “exceptions” matter more. A recent decision out of the Ontario Court of Appeal illustrates this point rather nicely. It concerns two banks, a debt, a mortgage discharge statement and PIPEDA. Read more »

Fearon: Police Searches & Mobile Phones

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) issued a significant decision with respect to another piece of technology that we commonly carry on our person – mobile phones. The court in R. v. Fearon addressed whether the police can search such phones under the common law power to “search incident to a lawful arrest”. In doing so, the SCC has changed the common law with respect to such searches. Read more »

R.v Spencer: Reasonable Expectation of Privacy

Who knew six months could pass so quickly? The last blog post seemed like yesterday. After getting the shoulder better and renewing an intent to blog on a more regular basis, here is part 2 of the R v. Spencer blog post. In the last post, my focus was on the meaning of “lawful authority”. Here I want to focus on what I think is the more important aspect of the case  — the “reasonable expectation of privacy” in subscriber information. Read more »

Spencer, PIPEDA & Lawful Authority

A busy practice combined with a very bad shoulder injury will, regretfully, move blogging down the priority list. As we reach mid-2014 there have been a few interesting privacy law developments this year but, in my view, no real “blockbusters”. That all changed today. Today, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) came out with R v. Spencer. Digesting the decision like this takes time but, in a first read, what it says about lawful authority should make every private sector organization pause and re-examine its policy on cooperation with law enforcement. Read more »

Toronto Hydro Surveillance?

I can’t help but think there’s a movie in this somewhere. Love, devotion and allegations of betrayal are all present. Mix in smart meters and privacy and it becomes obvious why I’m blogging about this. It’s quite a fascinating story and it comes from, of all places, an unpublished Ontario IPC report, issued in September 2013, which was sent to me. The troubling bit is that there are more than a few questions that arise from the story.  Read more »

Health Privacy: Is PHIPA the only game in town?

There is a new and interesting decision out of Peterborough that raises but doesn’t answer a lot of questions. These questions revolve around the intersection of PHIPA, class action law and tort law. This is not something you see everyday although we may have to wait awhile before the dust (and the law) settles.  Read more »

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