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PlexCoin still under scrutiny by Quebec financial regulator

Quebec’s financial watchdog is putting the squeeze on Dominic Lacroix.

He is a Quebec City resident who is thought to be behind an initial coin offering, PlexCoin, that is set to launch on Friday, October 13th.

The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is working hard to prevent that from happening, and is ramping up the pressure.

Next Tuesday, on October 3rd, before Quebec Superior Court in Quebec City, the AMF will argue that Lacroix should be found guilty of contempt of court for failing to comply with orders issued by the Quebec Financial Markets Administrative Tribunal. …

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Canada Internet

Ottawa finally proposes regulations on data breach notifications

Private sector organizations following federal privacy law will have to provide breach notifications to customers and the privacy commissioner where it is reasonable to believe that the breach creates a “real risk of significant harm,” under long-awaited proposed regulations to Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

The draft regulations, if and when they come in force, are expected to provide Canadians with better protection while providing organizations with yet another compelling incentive to adopt better security practices to thwart a phenomenon that is occurring with alarming frequency, according to privacy experts.

Early this month, a security breach at credit-monitoring company Equifax Inc., one of three major credit bureaus in the United States, could affect up to 143 million Americans and an undisclosed number of Canadians. More recently still, the personal information of some one million users from the news and entertainment website Canoe.ca were exposed after some of its databases were hacked.…

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Business Internet Quebec

Quebec financial watchdog raids offices of man prohibited from promoting PlexCoin

The Quebec financial watchdog raided last week the offices of Dominic Lacroix, a Quebec City man who has been prohibited by a tribunal to promote and solicit investors for a new virtual currency called PlexCoin.

The raid turned up a list of people from around the world, including Quebec, the U.S., and Africa, who expressed an interest in investing in PlexCoin, said Sylvain Théberge, a spokesperson with the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the regulatory and oversight body for Quebec’s financial sector.…

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Business Internet Quebec

Quebec financial watchdog considering its options over PlexCoin

Quebec’s financial watchdog is considering handing over the case involving Dominic Lacroix and his companies, who has been prohibited by a tribunal to promote and solicit investors for a new virtual currency called PlexCoin, to police authorities.

The Autorité des marchés financiers, the regulatory and oversight body for Québec’s financial sector, is also considering launching penal proceedings against Lacroix and his companies, said Sylvain Théberge, AMF’s spokesperson. Such proceedings would take place before the Court of Quebec, a provincial court.

“We are talking about thousands of persons who have shown an interest in this system,” said Théberge, adding that a decision as to whether to call in police or refer the matter for penal proceedings will take place this week. “We are extremely concerned. It seems to us, until the contrary is proven, that investors may become involved in a high-risk investment.”…

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Business Internet Quebec Rulings

New virtual currency targeted by Quebec financial watchdog

The Quebec Financial Markets Administrative Tribunal issued a series of expansive ex parte orders prohibiting Dominic Lacroix and several of his companies from promoting and soliciting investors for a new virtual currency set to be launched.

The Tribunal, at the request of Quebec’s financial watchdog, issued a broad order barring Lacroix, DL Innov inc., Gestio inc., PlexCorps, and PlexCoin from engaging in activities for the purpose of directly or indirectly trading in any form of investment covered by the section 1 of the Quebec Securities Act, either in Quebec or from Quebec to outside of the province. Section 1 describes a wide range of forms of investment, including securities, instruments, deposits of money, shares in an investment club, and options or non-traded derivatives.

The Tribunal also ordered them to pull out advertisements or solicitations on the internet over any securities or investment vehicles, and to shut down the site plexcorps.com and plexcoin.com – or at the very least make them inaccessible to Quebec consumers.

The Tribunal also ordered Facebook Canada Ltd. to shut down the Facebook pages of PlexCorps and PlexCoin. Facebook declined to comment. "We can’t share details about cases," said a spokesperson.…

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Internet Legal business Legal Practice Management LegalTech

Legal profession concerned about algorithmic bias

Algorithms, the set of instructions computers use to carry out a task, have become an integral part of everyday lives, and it is immersing itself in law. In the U.S. judges in some states can use algorithms as part of the sentencing process. Many law enforcement officials in the U.S. are using them to predict when and where crimes are likely to occur. They have been used for years in law firm recruitment. And with advancements in machine learning they are also being used to conduct legal research, predict legal outcomes, and to find out which lawyers win before which judges.

Most algorithms are created with good intentions but questions have surfaced over algorithmic bias at job hunting web sites, credit reporting bureaus, social media sites and even the criminal justice system where sentencing and parole decisions appear to be biased against African Americans.…

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Business Financial services Internet Legal business Legal Practice Management Weekend reads

The sharing economy: A Pandora box for legal protection insurers

The practice of law is under duress.

Legal service innovations driven by digitalization and globalization are propelling seismic change. So too is the emergence of the sharing economy model which has taken the world by storm. Novel ways of delivering new products and services are seemingly materializing daily to satisfy increasingly demanding and fickle consumers.

The rapidly evolving landscape is putting a strain on traditional business models, while governments and regulatory authorities are scrambling to keep up with the dizzying pace of change. But with change comes challenges – and opportunities – for legal service providers and legal protection insurers alike, all of which was explored at a conference held in Montreal recently by the International Association of Legal Protection (RIAD).…

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Business Financial services Intellectual property Internet Quebec

Quebec financial watchdog warns consumers over P2P insurance

Stung by criticism that it has at times acted too late to stop unsound practices, Quebec’s financial watchdog recently warned consumers to be wary of peer-to-peer insurance offerings even though the digital sharing platform has yet to make a formal entrance in Canadian soil.

Quebec’s financial regulator, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), is “urging” Quebecers to be “cautious” when purchasing P2P insurance products or services. While in favour of the development of new financial technologies, the AMF warns consumers that they could be exposed to losses that would not be covered under current compensation schemes.…

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Internet Legislation Quebec

Quebec plans to order ISPs to block unlicensed gaming sites

A controversial bill tabled by the Quebec government that will compel Internet service providers to block unlicensed gambling websites is an expensive, futile, and unconstitutional endeavour that raises concerns about the neutral role of Internet providers, according to gaming and telecommunication experts.

The proposed legislation, tabled last November, will amend the province’s Consumer Protection Act and require Internet service providers (ISPs) to “block access” to a list of “unauthorized gambling sites” that will be drawn up by Loto-Québec, a government agency that operates and develops lotteries in the province. Internet service providers face steep fines -- up to $100,000 and twice that amount for subsequent offences -- if they fail to comply.

“It is absolutely urgent that anyone looking at this oppose this,” remarked Bram Abramson, the chief legal and regulatory officer at TekSavvy, an independent Canadian ISP.…

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Business Financial services Internet Legal Practice Management Legislation Quebec

Quebec regulates virtual currency ATMs and trading platforms

In a move that caught the business and legal community by surprise, Quebec became the first jurisdiction in Canada to regulate the digital currency sector by requiring businesses that operate virtual currency automated teller machines or trading platforms to obtain a licence to operate in the province.

But the recently published amendments to the Policy Statement of the Money Services Businesses Act (Act) by Quebec’s financial watchdog has drawn criticism from industry observers who assert that it is brimming with ambiguities and risks hindering the burgeoning digital currency industry.

“Time will tell if they will stifle innovation in the province and deter people from starting ATMs there or whether or not people are willing to accept that regulation,” remarked Stuart Hoegner, CPA, CMA, and an international gaming lawyer…

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