Topic - Privacy

Google violating privacy: Part 593&84$!94)8 in a series

I love the smell of Google in the morning

It’s a weekday, which means Google must be violating your privacy (weekend privacy violations belong to Facebook). This one is all official-like even, as the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) has just released a big fat honking report saying as much. Let’s see what nefarious get rich quick schemes have gotten Google into trouble today!

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Posted in: Privacy, Regulatory regime in Canada
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Bell has a deficient privacy policy? I am SHOCKED. SHOCKED, I tell you

it's purdy

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has just released the first results of their investigation into online privacy policies, as part of the Global Privacy Enforcement Network Internet Privacy Sweep, whatever the hell that is. The OPC found some interesting stuff. As they say in their blog post, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Major Canadian corporations with crappy privacy policies? Well obviously they need to hire a decent internet lawyer. (call me!)

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Farewell Bill C-30, we hardly knew ye

better luck next time Vic

Greetings, internet denizens! Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I think the internet took the month of January off, so there was really no news to report. But yesterday, there was good news! The Conservative government has decided to kill Bill C-30, the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, or as we liked to call it around here, the Vic Toews is an Idiot Act.

We wrote quite a bit about C-30 and its various nefarious schemes. Suffice it to say, when a Federal Minister says things like “you are either for this bill or you are a child molester” (I’m paraphrasing, but not by much) there is going to be some media attention. The internet exploded with rage (as it is wont to do) at the bill last February, and the government seemed shamed somewhat. Yesterday’s announcement was too long in coming yet welcome, and was an obvious reminder that people who actually know about the internet (i.e. me) must be listened to.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, in describing what changes the future might hold, said yesterday that amendments or modernization of Canadian law:

“will not contain …warrantless mandatory disclosure of basic subscriber information or the requirement for telecommunications service providers to build intercept capability within their systems.”

Let’s just leave that here for posterity to remind the government of its position on this, if when they bring up “lawful access legislation” again.

Posted in: Internet law basics, Privacy
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The latest hit on your online privacy. Maybe.

Shred baby, shred!Are you an online consumer of child pornography? Well I have some bad news for you! The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled last week that you really don’t have an expectation of privacy when it comes to your ISP turning over your personal information, Charter of Rights be damned. But what if you are doing something less skeevy than child porn? Well that’s a bit trickier. Let’s dive in.

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Leakage! Errrr, web leakage!

Shred baby, shred!Is your privacy online being shredded to bits? The Office of the Privacy Commissioner sure thinks so! This week, they released the results of a study they did of 25 major Canadian websites, which showed that 11 of them were engaging in “web leakage”. So which companies are leaking your personal information? Let’s find out!

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“Lawful” Access Shenanigans!

Vic vic vic [sigh]It’s been my dream to use the word “shenanigans” in a blog post for a long time. I really love the word; it’s got such a nice old-timey feel to it. So what would you call a bunch of ISPs, telecom companies, and industry groups getting together with the government in secret before the introduction of Vic Toews’ old friend, Bill C-30, The Catching Sexual Predators / Internet Spying / “Lawful” Access Bill? You are correct, sir. SHENANIGANS.

So Michael Geist (or more likely his army of students) did some yeoman’s work in filing an Access to Information request. They hit the motherload. Let Mr. Geist explain what they found:

in the months leading up to the introduction Bill C-30, Canada’s telecom companies worked actively with government officials to identify key issues and to develop a secret Industry – Government Collaborative Forum on Lawful Access.

Lovely! So in January 2012, a bunch of industry types and government reps sat down for a meeting. All the big boys were there – Rogers, Bell, Vidéotron. After some coffee and delicious muffins (or so I assume, maybe they were danishes), they sat around and figured out how to fuck over their subscribers at the government’s request. Fun! Just so you know they were serious:

representatives have been granted Government of Canada Secret level security clearance and signed non-disclosure agreements

So we’ve got the country’s oligopolisitic media / telecom companies and the government colluding in secret to try to pass legislation no one in the public wants. Just another day at the office.

Posted in: Internet law basics, Privacy, Regulatory regime in Canada
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Happy Google Privacy Policy Day!

Google has touched us with its noodly appendage

Today is March 1st, meaning that Google’s new Privacy Policy has gone into effect. I already wrote about it, but it’s still worth celebrating! Or complaining about, if you’re France, or Canada’s Privacy Commissioner, or, well, a whole bunch of other people probably.

I am currently hammering out a piece on the new policy for The Gazette’s Legal Matters. I’ll update this post with a link to that when it gets published, assuming they don’t reject it for my fucking salty language.

UPDATE – And here is The Gazette article. Fuck it’s not too bad. Enjoy!

UPDATE #2 – Check out what’s the most poular story on The Gazette right now:

Sorry mobstersJust don’t tell the Mob I’m more popular than them.

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Let’s read a privacy policy. For fun!

you WILL complyDo you use Google products? Of course you do. You’re probably using one right now. If you do, you got an email last week from Google saying that as of March 1st, you will be covered by their brand-spanking new Privacy Policy. Since there is nothing really exciting in Canadian internet law this week, I thought I’d take some time to read the thing so you don’t have to. As I write privacy policies for a living, I am confident I will be able to handle this task with all the usual straightforward hard hitting legal analysis you’ve come to expect from me. Or I could really pile on the snark. Join me after the jump to find out which one!

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