The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Yves Faguy

Privacy

Cambridge Analytica fallout: How will GDPR be enforced?

By Yves Faguy March 23, 2018 23 March 2018

Cambridge Analytica fallout: How will GDPR be enforced?

Jessica Davies warns that in the aftermath of Cambridge Analytica’s harvesting scandal, businesses are going to have get wise quickly about making sure they will be compliant with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – coming into force in May.

The question on a lot of minds, up until now, has been how 28 different countries will enforce the regulation, which has extra-territorial reach.

Jess Geary also digs into the issue:

Post-GDPR, the data is back in the control of the consumer. As of May 25th, 2018, consumers will be able to request what data is being held about them and they will have the right to be forgotten and, more importantly, get greater clarity on transparency on how their data is being used. The emphasis is now on the brands to negotiate this new opt-in world successfully – or they face a fine of €20m or 4% of global turnover.

This increasing scrutiny from consumers is only going to get worse, especially with more and more high profile data breaches (I am confident there will be more). So how do businesses and brands tackle this growing scepticism from consumers, in an age where data is becoming more powerful and valuable than ever?

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Privacy

Cambridge Analytica: The legal implications for Facebook and everyone else

By Yves Faguy March 21, 2018 21 March 2018

Cambridge Analytica: The legal implications for Facebook and everyone else

Facebook is clearly in trouble over allegations that the social media giant has been derelict in its duty to protect its users’ privacy, in the wake of revelations that the British firm Cambridge Analytica harvested information, without permission from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million of its users.  Facebook is now facing multiple investigations in several countries -- never mind the lawsuits piling in.

The US Federal Trade Commission looking into whether Facebook violated its 2011 settlement by allowing the misuse of user data ostensibly collected for academic research.

In the UK, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been personally summoned to appear before a House of Commons committee to give testimony on the latest developments in the matter.

The EU is hinting, too, that major fines may be on the way.

And now the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is now launching its own investigation.

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Conflicts of laws

The new censors

By Yves Faguy March 14, 2018 14 March 2018

The new censors

Liberal democracies are wrestling with a crisis of confidence in freedom of speech.

It’s a sentiment that has been tracking alongside other worries – about erosions to the rule of law, reports of declines in civil liberties in many parts of the world, and distress over the torrent of invective that social media has unleashed. Civility is out the window. Women and Muslims are disproportionately the targets of trolls and haters. The loudest individuals will hijack debate and intimidate others into silence.

Caught in middle of all this are the new arbiters of acceptable conduct online – principally Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

It’s a role they would prefer not to have, after years of holding the internet up as the modern public square where views can be freely exchanged.

Facebook has always sold itself as a neutral platform for information. But the social media giant has been caught wrong-footed in a number of recent instances. In the lead-up to the 2016 U.S. election, it was accused of tweaking its algorithm to bury conservative viewpoints, then later of enabling the spread of right-wing misinformation. It recently announced plans to overhaul its newsfeed by letting users rank the credibility of news sources. Meanwhile it is accused of promoting Western-centric bias on its trending topics.

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Criminal justice

Report card on Canada's criminal justice system

By Yves Faguy March 6, 2018 6 March 2018

Report card on Canada's criminal justice system

Put together by Benjamin Perrin and Richard Audas, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute report card paints a not-so-pretty picture of Canada's criminal justice landscape, characterized  by "shockingly high rates of crime" in the territories, disproportionately high levels of Indigenous incarceration rates, lengthier court delays, fairness and access to justice indicators  getting worse in a number of provinces -- namely in Manitoba and Quebec.  Ontario has seen the biggest improvement in its ranking, while Quebec has slipped, and B.C. gets a particularly brutal review:

British Columbia’s criminal justice system significantly underperforms that of most other provinces on many measures. BC has one of the highest property crime rates among the provinces. It has the lowest weighted violent crime clearance rate (51.7 percent) and the lowest weighted non-violent crime clearance rate (20.4 percent) in Canada. The province has one of the highest rates of breach of probation in Canada and relatively high rates of failure to comply with court orders. Public perceptions of the police in British Columbia are below average, specifically in enforcing the law, ensuring public safety, satisfaction with public safety, providing information, being approachable, being fair, and responding promptly. Confidence in the police, justice system, and courts in BC is below average.

Read the whole report.

Source: Macdonald-Laurier Institute

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Trade

How to respond to Trump’s tariffs threats

By Yves Faguy March 6, 2018 6 March 2018

How to respond to Trump’s tariffs threats

Yesterday Donald Trump tweeted that his recently threatened steel/aluminum tariffs could be lifted if Canada and Mexico were to agree to a new NAFTA deal – trade apparently being a zero-sum game.

U.S. House  Speaker Paul Ryan also came down hard on Trump’s proposed tariffs, arguing they will lead to a trade war that is nobody’s interest: “We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan,” he said.  It seems Congressional Republicans are mounting an effort to stop Trump from implementing the tariffs

Now there appear to be signals from factions within the White House to weaken the tariffs. “Gary Cohn and other free-trade advocates inside the White House and the Treasury Department are mounting a last-ditch effort to blunt the impact of Trump’s head-turning decision,” Politico reports.

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