contact January 31st, 2013
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jennifer Stoddart, published an open letter to Josée Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Industry Minister Jim Prentice, who has been diligently committed to resurrecting his disaster of a copyright bill, which will import the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act to Canada. Essentially, the systems in question often spy on users and then report back with detailed, private information about your activities. Ms. Stoddart is very concerned with the prospect of changing Canadian law to make it illegal to tamper with this spyware. An excerpt is below:
…Canadians are making use of new information and communication technologies to obtain access to information, films, music and other content. While new technologies have generally widened individual access to copyrighted content, they also allow copyright holders the means to control use or reproduction and to manage authorized uses.
Technological protective measures can be embedded in various media to control copying and prevent copyright infringement, or they can be built into electronic devices to prevent the reading of unauthorized content. Digital rights management (DRM) is the general term for the varied technologies used to enforce pre-defined limitations on the use of digital content. These include any means by which publishers or manufacturers control use of data or hardware. My office has prepared an information sheet on DRM technology, a copy of which is enclosed for your information.
If DRM technologies only controlled copying and use of content, our Office would have few concerns. However, DRM technologies can also collect detailed personal information from users, who often do no more than access the content on a computer. This information is transmitted back to the copyright owner or content provider, without the consent or knowledge of the user. Although the means exist to circumvent these technologies and thus prevent the collection of this information, previous proposals to amend the Copyright Act contained anti-circumvention provisions.
Technologies that report back to a company about the use of a product reveal a great deal about an individual’s tastes and preferences. Indeed, such information can be extremely personal….” read the whole letter