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Monday, November 5, 2018

Monday, November 5, 2018
Daniel Therrien says the amount of staffing his office has is ‘insufficient’ when it comes to dealing with data-breach reports.


Amendments to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, which require mandatory reporting of unauthorized disclosure of personal information by private sector organizations, came into effect Nov. 1, but federal Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien says his office was not given additional resources to handle the data-breach reporting.

Ottawa-based Therrien says his office has just two people assigned to analyze data-breach reports and provide risk-mitigation advice.

“We think that’s insufficient, grossly insufficient,” says Therrien. “The net effect is that yes, we will analyze breach reports and provide advice to companies on how to mitigate risk. But we will have to do that in the most egregious of cases, leaving a large number of breach reports that will be only superficially reviewed.”

The new regulations come from the Digital Privacy Act, which requires that, in the event of the unauthorized disclosure of personal information, private sector organizations report to the privacy commissioner and inform those whose information was affected, if it is reasonable to believe the breach risks significant harm to an individual.

This notification must happen “as soon as feasible” after the breach occurs.


Teraview, which lawyers use to access data in the province’s land records database, was largely unavailable on Halloween. After the outage from about 9:23 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Oct. 31, Vicki McArthur of Teranet Inc. says, lawyers took advantage of extended hours, likely in an effort to close real estate deals.

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services extended hours to 8 p.m. on the day of the outage.

The sporadic outage is still being investigated, but it was entirely due to a technical issue and not related to unauthorized access or a security breach, says McArthur.


Former Ontario Bar Association presidents Quinn Ross and Orlando Da Silva said on Twitter that they plan to run as benchers in the April 2019 Law Society of Ontario election. Da Silva, a senior Crown counsel in Toronto, has made headlines over the years with his openness about struggling with mental health issues. Ross, a real estate lawyer who runs The Ross Firm PC, focused his time as OBA president on technology and diversity issues, and he has been an activist on Alzheimer issues. Nominations for bencher elections opened on Oct. 15 and close at 5 p.m. on Feb. 8, 2019.”


A recent report presented to Convocation said the Law Society of Ontario is considering how it might implement a national proposal to narrow the roles of judges in the courtroom after retirement. Law Times asked readers if they agree with a move that would prohibit all judges from appearing before any court, except in exceptional circumstances, with law society approval.

About 51 per cent of respondents said no, they did not agree with the move to further restrict judges from appearing in court after retirement. Another 49 per cent said retired judges shouldn’t be in the courtroom as counsel.

Law Times Poll

Experts at a recent Legal Marketing Association panel said with clients expecting more price transparency, law firms need to get better at using data. Is your firm currently collecting consistent data from all its members to measure output?