Top legal risks for 2016: four of them are tech related

Legal Tech RisksTop 10 legal risks for business in 2016: four of them are tech related. Are you ready? Is your business ready?

Borden Ladner Gervais, a national law firm in Canada, just released their top 10 legal risk for business in 2016 report. I recommend any business owner read it the full report (you can download it here) but I want to focus on the four risks that relate to technology.

Privacy Class Actions

The first of their tech risks for 2016 is the growing prevalence of privacy class action lawsuits.  What is this? Say your firm has a database of customer information containing sensitive information such as birthdates, credit card information, anything that falls under PIPA and PIPEDA laws. The database gets breached, could be by hackers or employees, and your firm is at fault for the breach.

According to the BLG report, folks are filing more and more class action lawsuits for such breaches.

And if you’re at fault your insurance won’t cover you.

I’ve written more about data privacy and business here.

Workplace Cyber Sex and IT Security

Last year saw the Ashley Madison web site hack with full disclosure of their database of customers. One of the more interesting and scary things from that information was the number of people who signed up for the web site using their professional or work email addresses.

It’s a classic example of how increasingly employees use their companies technology for personal reasons. And your business reputation is at risk. And your computer systems are at risk.

To mitigate this risk, you need to put in an acceptable use policy for your employees and educate them regularly as to what it means.

Fraud in E-Payment Systems

Paying for your cup of coffee with your phone? Use a digital wallet? How secure is it?

As people switch to using mobile devices to pay for stuff expect hackers and thieves to follow the money.


The CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission) started handing out the first fines last year to Canadian companies spewing spam under CASLS the Canadian spam law. Most of the offenders were sending emails or CEMS (commercial electronic messages) without consent and without the required unsubscribe mechanism. Fines ranged from $48,000 to a whopping $1.1 million.

Have you reviewed your email newsletters or CEMS since CASLS became law?

And do read the rest of the report.