Information Roundup – March 9, 2008

I managed a decent surf yesterday. It was a thigh-high shore-break session over concrete and re-bar. Oh yeah, minus six centigrade too. Not exactly reminiscent of the islands, but fun anyway. I needed the surf because the “spring forward” weekend can otherwise be a bummer, especially when it snows a foot.

Here’s what I’ve found interesting this week.

  • Eric Freedman, Reconstructing Journalists’ Privilege. This is timely given the recent National Post case (report here). Professor Freedman argues for a class privilege akin to solicitor-privilege, stating that, “any qualified reportarial privilege which depends on judicial balancing of the importance of disclosure in individual cases is inherently structurally defective.” (Social Science Research Network)
  • Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in the Workplace: Recommendations for Good Practices. This has been a published as a consultation paper, so may lead to a more pointed opinion in the future. As it stands, it is very reserved, with the Commissioner only coming out firmly against the use RFID implants for any purpose. The paper is nonetheless useful. It discusses some of the technical options that employers should run-through in building systems that limit collection. It also has a nice general discussion of the meaning of personal information, with references to PCC orders and other sources. (Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada)
  • Guidelines for Overt Video Surveillance in the Private Sector. Published this week by the PCC, the Alberta OIPC and the British Columbia OIPC. Hat tip to David Fraser.
  • Thomas J. Smith, Now Watch the Lawyers Blitz: The NFL destroyed the tapes. But it still hasn’t escaped the sack. This is an extremely interesting spoliation news story (likely to become a case) about video taken by the New England Patriots of other teams’ defensive signals. The NFL demanded tapes from Patriots and destroyed them immediately after completing its cheating investigation in September 2007. Just over a week after the NFL announced the tapes had been destroyed, the Patriots and its coach Bill Belichick were hit with a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of New York Jets season ticket holders. The tapes could contain evidence of whether the stealing of signals gave the Patriots an unfair advantage, but are now gone. Did the NFL have a duty to retain them? (Law Times, reprinted at K&L Gates).
  • Judge John G. Koeltl, The Virtue of Brevity. Excellent. Words to practice by. (American Bar Association Section of Litigation)
Seanna’s a blogger now. Here’s a link to her new group blog, which is called “84 days of discipline.” It’s pretty niche (and pretty personal too eh Seanna), but maybe some of you are into following the interactive training log of three elite female distance runners.
Take care!

One thought on “Information Roundup – March 9, 2008

  1. I’ve always visualized using RFID tags on library books to help track them down inside the office. Used within a private business setting for work-related publications only, I feel this wouldn’t contravene people’s right to privacy. It sounds like the Privacy Commissioner leaves that sort of use open.

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