Privacy - News

  • – 2010-11-19 –

    In an open letter to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, CIPPIC and a number of civil society organizations voice serious concerns with respect to Bill C-29, currently before the House and scheduled for second reading early next week. The Bill, ironically dubbed the 'Safeguarding Canadians' Personal Information Act', proposes a number of amendments to Canada's federal privacy protection statute, PIPEDA. Far from improving privacy, the Bill threatens to erode civil liberties in serious ways. Even where it attempts to improve privacy, it falls short by failing to provide any incentive for compliance.

    The most troubling elements of the Bill pave the way to a dramatic expansion in the ways in which private businesses can be used in investigations against their own customers. While privacy should never be a bar to legitimate investigations of actual wrongs, the law provides mechanisms such as warrants, production orders, mandatory disclosure laws, and discovery processes that ensure investigations can occur with proper safeguards in place. This Bill essentially bypasses all of these safeguards by adding and expanding exceptions that permit organizations to simply give away their customer's information and includes elements evocative of the US PATRIOT Act and all the civil liberties violations that accompanied it.

  • – 2010-09-22 –

    The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has closed its file on CIPPIC’s 2008 complaint about Facebook’s privacy practices. The Office’s 2009 Report of Findings and its following letter of resolution required Facebook to make a number of changes. In a media release and Backgrounder, the Office reports that it is satisfied that the changes Facebook has implemented are “reasonable and meet the expectations set out under Canadian privacy law.

  • – 2010-07-13 –

    As part of its intention to help Canada regain its leadership position in the global digital economy, the government recently concluded a public consultation process which sought submissions from all sectors of the public on who to achieve this objective.

    CIPPIC provided two input streams into the Government's consultaiton process. First, we helped develop and endorsed a consensus subimssion convened by Andrew Clement and Karen Louise Smith of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information. In addition, CIPPIC's 2010 summer interns put together a comprehensive submission that set out 36 recommendations. In this submission, CIPPIC calls on the government to encourage the creation of a digital environment that will be better for all Canadians and will serve as a model for other jurisdictions. CIPPIC offers recommendations on issues such as privacy, online file-sharing, and on quality and access to communications that will help the government achieve this objective.

    For more info see: https://cippic.ca/Digital_Economy_Consultation_Canada

  • – 2010-05-03 –

    The Ontario Divisional Court released a unanimous decision today that will protect the anonymity of online speakers.  The court held that before the identity of anonymous online users accused of defamation can be revealed, the plaintiff must convince the court there is an adequate basis for ordering such disclosure.  This overturns a lower court's decision that identities must be disclosed automatically.

  • – 2010-04-08 –

    CIPPIC appeared before the Ontario Divisional Court today to advocate for privacy protections in civil litigation processes.  CIPPIC joined the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in intervening in Warman v. Wilkins-Fournier and in asking the Court to ensure reasonable safeguards are in place to prevent anonymous online identities from being revealed too readily.

  • – 2010-03-15 –

    Yesterday, Madame Justice Aitken of the the Ontario Divisional Court approved CIPPIC's motion seeking leave to intervene in Warman v. Fournier, an appeal which will address important issues surrounding the role of online anonymity in the discovery process.  CIPPIC will argue that, by ordering the disclosure of identifying documents, the ruling being appealed failed to provide adequate safeguards for user privacy.  The appeal will be heard Wednesday, April 8, 2010.

  • – 2009-10-10 –

    The report, available here, focuses on online privacy and has a section devoted to canvassing particular concerns over the impact of the Internet on interactions between youths and children.

  • – 2009-10-05 –

    Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner has ordered Crown attorneys to cease collecting any personal information of potential jurors, beyond that which is necessary under the Juries Act and Criminal Code. The Commissioner has called on the Ministry of the Attorney General to implement a standardized juror screening process that will put an end to the practice of the police investigating potential jurors through techniques that included accessing confidential databases.

  • – 2009-09-13 –

    CIPPIC joined other privacy advocates across Canada in a joint submission promoting respect for privacy interests that will be affected by proposed changes to copyright law.

  • – 2009-09-01 –

    The OPC has released a letter to CIPPIC outlining its final resolution with social networking site Facebook with respect to the privacy concerns CIPPIC raised in its PIPEDA complaint a year ago.  The letter supplements the original finding and lays out a process for moving forward.  The OPC has said it will continue to work with Facebook over the coming year to ensure that Facebook implements its obligations in a manner that meets the requirements of the Act.  CIPPIC has some outstanding concerns, and will continue to engage both the OPC and Facebook to ensure these are met.