Posted by Matt on April 16, 2014 Tagged with: surveillance, telecommunications, privacy
There have been at least two noteworthy Canadian law & technology stories in the last two weeks. I haven't covered them, but if you're reading Michael Geist's and David Fraser's blogs (and you should be), then you'll be up to speed. If not:
The Government of Canada released Digital Canada 150, the latest communication in their ongoing "Digital Strategy". You can see a version with fancy animations here or just look at the PDF. You can read Michael Geist's take on it here. He is more generous about the document than I am, finding it succeeds on at least three levels. My brief analysis: sound & fury, signifying nothing.
Bill S-4, the Digital Privacy Act, was tabled in the Senate. The bill makes a number of amendments to PIPEDA, the federal privacy legislation. One amendment of note: organizations which collect and store personal information will be permitted to share that information with other organizations, including law enforcement agencies, for the purposes of "investigating a breach of an agreement or a contravention of the laws of Canada". This significantly broadens the circumstances in which organizations can share private information without consent or a court order. It also comes not two weeks after the revelation that Canadian telecommunication companies were already voluntarily disclosing a huge amount of information about their subscribers to various law enforcement agencies. I've discussed the topic of law enforcement having warrantless access to subscriber data before. Well, the issue of warrants becomes moot if companies are just voluntarily handing this information over to law enforcement. The amendments in S-4 will only encourage these kind of practices.