B.C Privacy Commissioner David Loukidelis releases report: “Privacy and the USA Patriot Act”

The privacy community has been anticipating the release of this report. The US Patriot Act (among others) allows US authorities to see personal information of Canadian individuals if that information is in the possession of US companies, or Canadian subsidiaries of US companies. Given the trend to outsource IT resources, this is not just theoretical. Any Canadian business that engages others to provide data processing or storage should consider this issue.

Link to summary

Link to full report

Electronic voting debated

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DAVID CANTON, For the London Free Press – October 30 2004

As the United States presidential election nears, the issue of technology and voting has been under debate.

Electronic voting alleviates the need for the traditional paper ballot to be marked and counted during election day — but is not universally trusted.

In Canada, we continue to rely on the paper-based voting system, while Americans are embracing technology to reform their voting system.

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OSS users must read fine print

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DAVID CANTON, For the London Free Press – October 23 2004

Open source software is becoming a popular option. Open source software (OSS) is software where the source code — or human readable code — is readily available, such as Linux.

Many are under the misconception that one must make public any new source code one creates that is in related to open source software.

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Cars may inform on bad drivers

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DAVID CANTON, For the London Free Press – October 16 2004

Big Brother could be watching your every move as you drive. Your driving habits — from how fast you are driving to whether you fastened your seatbelt — are all being recorded.

Most cars are equipped with tiny “black boxes” known as event data recorders (EDRs). These tiny computer chips perform a function similar to that of the black boxes used to record data in airplanes.

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Copyright laws get flexible

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By DAVID CANTON — London Free Press – October 9 2004

Copyright law says no one can copy something created by another — such as an article, book, photograph, website, song or video — without the author’s express permission. The Creative Commons project (creativecommons.org) makes it simpler for authors to give permission for certain uses without having to be asked specifically.

It is a way for authors to publish with some rights reserved rather than all rights reserved.

A version of the creative commons licence expressly tailored for Canadian law has just been released.

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