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NCDII Publications & Latest Developments

Publications

This LEAF report (authored by Cynthia Khoo) examines digital platform liability for technology-facilitated gender-based violence, abuse, and harassment (“TFGBV”). 

It contains 14 recommendations for federal government action and legislative reform, including imposing legal obligations and, in some cases, liability on digital platforms for TFGBV committed by a user. The recommendations are grounded in six guiding principles, including the need to centre substantive equality in platform regulation, and ensuring expedient, practical, and accessible remedies for those targeted by TFGBV. 

This article, written by Professor Danielle Keats Citron, focuses on the issue of cyber stalking (repeated, often relentless targeting of someone with abuse including unwanted communications, intimate privacy violations, and defamation, among other threats). Citron notes the need to fight cyber stalking to protect victims’ expression and autonomy in the context of the the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Counterman v. Colorado, which dealt with the constitutionality of a man’s conviction for cyber stalking. 

In this article, authors Danielle Keats Citron and Daniel J. Solove contend that the requirement of harm has significantly impeded the enforcement of privacy law. To address this issue, the authors make two central contributions.

 

The first is the construction of a typology for courts to understand harm so that privacy violations can be tackled and remedied in a meaningful way. Privacy harms consist of various different types, which to date have been recognized by courts in inconsistent ways. Our typology of privacy harms elucidates why certain types of privacy harms should be recognized as cognizable.

The second contribution is providing an approach to when privacy harm should be required. In many cases, harm should not be required because it is irrelevant to the purpose of the lawsuit. Currently, much privacy litigation suffers from a misalignment of enforcement goals and remedies. We contend that the law should be guided by the essential question: When and how should privacy regulation be enforced? The authors offer an approach that aligns enforcement goals with appropriate remedies.

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To better protect people from the harmful effects of having their intimate images shared without their consent and improve access to justice for survivors of sexualized violence, the Province is introducing the Intimate Images Protection Act.  

The legislation covers intimate images, near-nude images, videos, livestreams and digitally altered images, including videos known as deep fakes and if passed, the legislation will create a new, fast-track process for getting a legal decision that an intimate image was recorded or distributed without consent and ordering people to stop distributing or threatening to distribute intimate images. 

As the next step in preventing the non-consensual sharing of intimate images, Niki Sharma, Attorney General, has issued a letter to technology companies advising them of the newly enacted Intimate Images Protection Act and their responsibilities under the law. The letter advises companies such as Meta, Twitter, Tinder, Grindr, PornHub and OnlyFans of the new expedited legal process created under the legislation and their responsibility to comply.

In this Harvard Law Review Blog, "Evaluating New York’s “Revenge Porn” Law: A Missed Opportunity to Protect Sexual Privacy" (March 19, 2019), the authors note that six years after lawmakers first considered the issue of nonconsensual pornography, New York has criminalized the practice. However, the legislation falls short in failing to conceive of the problem as involving intimate privacy. 

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