News

  • - 2005-07-29 -
    Applications by both sides (retailers and the Canadian Privacy Copying Collective) for leave to appeal the Federal Court of Appeal's decision on private copying have been dismissed by the Supreme Court of Canada. This means that the Canadian private copying levy is legal, but does not apply to iPods. Whether or not copying to iPods and other such devices is legal remains unclear. News.com story
  • - 2005-07-26 -
    Beginning today, Windows XP users downloading add-ons (other than security patches) will have to verify that their copy of XP is legitimate. The new validation process is part of a stepped-up effort by Microsoft to clamp down on software piracy. But privacy advocates are expressing concern about the amount of user information that Microsoft is collecting. News.com story Globe and Mail story
  • - 2005-07-25 -
    The Prime Minister today announced that former Supreme Court Justice Gerard La Forest will conduct a review of the merits of merging the currently separate federal Information and Privacy Commissioners into a single office. Mr La Forest's report is due in November 2005. In the meantime, the term of the current Information Commissioner, John Reid, has been extended to March 31, 2006.
  • - 2005-07-25 -
    Citing concerns about employee safety and the exposure of confidential information, Telus communications has blocked access by telus.com and telus.net subscribers to the "Voices for Change" website operated by members of the Telecommunications Workers' Union (TWU). Telus and the TWU are in the third day of a heated strike-lockout. Edmonton Sun story
  • - 2005-07-19 -
    CIPPIC has filed a complaint under the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act against a Canadian data-broker. In its complaint, CIPPIC alleges that InfoCanada combines publicly available data from telephone books with geographically aggregated demographic data from Statistics Canada, to compile lists of individuals by demographic feature, for sale to marketers. CIPPIC argues that this act of data-matching invokes PIPEDA, and that InfoCanada fails to obtain the consent of individuals to its use and sale of their personal information, however inaccurate, contrary to PIPEDA.
  • - 2005-07-18 -
    The European Commission decided today to sign an agreement with Canada on the transfer of airline passenger information between European airlines and the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), for the purpose of identifying terrorist threats. The CBSA is authorized to collect data on all persons flying into Canada, but EU laws restrict the right of European airlines to disclose such information. The agreement is expected to be signed and implemented in early autumn, 2005. According to the EC news release, "The agreement with Canada gives further enhanced data protecgtion compared to the deal concluded with the US last year, and a smaller number of data elements are involved."
  • - 2005-07-14 -
    Ignoring an almost unanimous vote by MPs to extend the current Information Commissioner's term by one year, the Prime Minister has extended it by a mere 90 days in order to revisit an old idea of merging the offices of the federal Information and Privacy Commissioners, according to access to information expert Ken Rubin. In a column, Rubin argues: "the merger of the two offices would water down and overload a super information/privacy czar...The losers...will be those who want something done versus the government's increasing intrusive powers on the privacy side and the escalating secretive ways on the access side." The Hill Times article by Ken Rubin, July 11, 2005
  • - 2005-07-14 -
    In a July 12th Investigation Report, the Alberta Privacy Commissioner strongly rebuked two law firms for their "lack of attention" to privacy laws in the course of advising companies on business transactions. While both the businesses and their advisors are responsible for compliance under the Alberta law, the Commissioner held the law firms to a higher standard, since they were retained to provide legal advice. Both firms were advised, among other things, to "conduct comprehensive in-house privacy training with all lawyers and staff".
  • - 2005-07-12 -
    The Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC), a coalition of technology companies and consumer groups, has released a uniform definition of "spyware" and accompanying glossary for public comment. The coalition hopes its efforts will ultimately help all users understand why some programs on their computers may be identified as unwanted and help them make educated decisions about removing or blocking those programs. CIPPIC is an active member of the ASC. - ASC definition of "spyware" - ASC press release - ASC website
  • - 2005-07-07 -
    In a June 24th decision, the Alberta Privacy Commissioner found that an employer's surreptitious use of keystroke logging to monitor an employee's computer use violated the Alberta Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, because both the covert nature of the monitoring and the extensive information collected were unecessary for the purpose of managing the employee. - CIPPIC News Release - Dan Armeneau (the complainant)'s blog.