Personal Information International Disclosure Protection Act Set To Come Into Force In Nova Scotia
On July 14, 2006, the Legislature of Nova Scotia passed the
Personal Information International Disclosure Protection Act (the Act), setting out requirements and procedures intended to protect against the inappropriate disclosure of personal information of Nova Scotians by public bodies (including municipalities) and service providers. The Act is now law but, as of this writing, has yet to be proclaimed in force.
Subject to certain exceptions, a public body must ensure that personal information in its custody or under its control is stored and accessed only in Canada. The Act provides that any disclosure of personal information outside of Canada by public bodies must be in compliance with the Act or otherwise authorized. In providing storage, access or disclosure of personal information outside Canada, service providers may only collect and use personal information that is necessary to fulfill its obligations as a service provider. The primary intent of the Act is to protect personal information of Nova Scotians from disclosure under the USA Patriot Act.
The Act also provides "whistle-blower" protection to employees of service providers who report offenses of their employers. Employees of public bodies are protected for "whistle-blowing" by existing legislation.
Penalties for contravention of the Act include fines that range from $2,000 to $500,000 and may include imprisonment for up to six months.
Supreme Court Rules On Newspaper Publishers’ Rights To Freelance Work
The Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled that newspaper publishers do not have an unfettered right to republish freelance articles that appeared in their newspaper. The Court considered whether a newspaper publisher had the right to republish such articles in either or both of two places: (i) in a general database compiling articles from a number of different sources, and (ii) on a CD ROM that essentially digitally reproduced the original hardcopy newspaper, with formatting changes. The Court found with respect to (i) that republication of freelance articles in general databases that compile articles from a number of different sources is not a reproduction of the newspaper as permitted by the Copyright Act. Accordingly, this type of republication requires that the author provide consent and be appropriately compensated. However, with respect to (ii) the Court ruled that publishers are entitled to republish freelance articles contained in their newspapers in database compilations of the newspapers.
At its September 27th meeting, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics (ETHI) placed on its coming agenda the legislative review of PIPEDA. During the past summer, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada submitted a PIPEDA review discussion document outlining issues which the Privacy Commissioner thought warranted consideration in connection with the legislative review.
Canadian Privacy Commissioner Initiates Complaint Against SWIFT
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada launched an official investigation into the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) to determine if any improper disclosures of personal information to foreign authorities have been made. Notably, this investigation was initiated by the Commissioner under the authority granted to her under PIPEDA. Normally investigations are complaint driven, but Section 11(2) of PIPEDA provides the Commissioner with the ability to initiate a complaint where there are reasonable grounds to investigate a matter.
The CBA has raised concerns over the trend by Canadian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to modify their customer agreements to provide them with the right to monitor or investigate their customers’ online communications.
Online monitoring was previously addressed by the former government through Bill C-74, the Modernization of Investigative Techniques Act, which contained proposals for ISP monitoring and investigation of customers’ online communications. However, the CBA notes that the practices permitted by the amended customer agreements would be "significantly more intrusive" and would have serious consequences for solicitor-client privilege as well as on the privacy of Canadians generally.
Software license agreements generally require the customer to pay fees for the software license and related services, which fees are usually based upon the duration of the license and the manner in which the customer is allowed to use the software, together with applicable taxes and withholdings.
In less than nine months, on July 1, 2017, persons affected by a contravention of Canada's anti-spam legislation will be able to invoke a private right of action to sue for compensation and potentially substantial statutory damages.
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