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Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, ETHI Committee, http://www.parl.gc.ca

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 14: Big Data, Privacy and Democracy – A Conversation With Nathaniel Erskine-Smith on the International Grand Committee

The debate over big data, privacy and its implications for democracy came to Ottawa last week as the International Grand Committee brought together the world’s biggest technology companies, politicians from around the world, and leading thinkers. Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, the Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy, and Ethics joins the podcast this week to reflect on the three days of hearings, the prospect for global reforms, and what comes next for the committee.

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June 3, 2019 1 comment Podcasts
Facebook: The privacy saga continues by Ruth Suehle for opensource.com (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/4638981545/sizes/o/

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 11: Reinterpreting Canadian Privacy Law – David Fraser On Cross-Border Data Transfers, the Right to De-Index, and the Facebook Investigation

Daniel Therrien, the Privacy Commissioner in Canada, is in the courts battling Google over a right to de-index. He’s calling for order making after Facebook declined to abide by his recommendations. And he’s embarked on a dramatic re-interpretation of the law premised on incorporating new consent requirements into cross-border data transfers. David Fraser, one of Canada’s leading privacy experts, joins the podcast to provide an update on the recent Canadian privacy law developments and their implications.

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May 13, 2019 0 comments Podcasts
Mark_Zuckerberg_F8_2018_Keynote, Anthony Quintano from Honolulu, HI, United States [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mark_Zuckerberg_F8_2018_Keynote_(41118883004).jpg

Does Canadian Privacy Law Matter if it Can’t be Enforced?

It has long been an article of faith among privacy watchers that Canada features better privacy protection than the United States. While the U.S. relies on binding enforcement of privacy policies alongside limited sector-specific rules for children and video rentals, Canada’s private sector privacy law (PIPEDA or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act), which applies broadly to all commercial activities, has received the European Union’s stamp of approval, and has a privacy commissioner charged with investigating complaints.

Despite its strength on paper, my Globe and Mail op-ed notes the Canadian approach emphasizes rules over enforcement, which runs the risk of leaving the public woefully unprotected. PIPEDA establishes requirements to obtain consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, but leaves the Privacy Commissioner of Canada with limited tools to actually enforce the law. In fact, the not-so-secret shortcoming of Canadian law is that the federal commissioner cannot order anyone to do much of anything. Instead, the office is limited to issuing non-binding findings and racing to the federal court if an organization refuses to comply with its recommendations.

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May 2, 2019 6 comments Columns
The Information Commissioner's Office [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 2: ”It’s Time to Modernize the Laws”

The first full length episode of the new LawBytes podcast features a conversation with UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, who leads the high profile investigation into Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. Denham, who previously served as Assistant Commissioner with the federal privacy office and as the British Columbia Information and Privacy Commissioner, reflected on her years in Canada, particularly the Canadian Facebook investigation and concerns with the Google Buzz service. Denham emphasized the need for Canadian legislative reform in order to address today’s privacy challenges. Denham was recently appointed chair of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, which she expects will increasingly focus on global privacy standards.

The podcast can be downloaded here and is embedded below. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod.

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March 11, 2019 2 comments Podcasts
Mark Zuckerberg F8 2018 Keynote by Anthony Quintano (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/25Dx2mG

Facebook Canada’s Hard Questions Series Turns to Privacy

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to sit down with Rob Sherman, Facebook’s Deputy Chief Privacy Officer, for a discussion co-hosted by the Centre for Law, Technology and Society on the many privacy issues facing the company. The conversation, part of Facebook Canada’s hard questions series, touched on applying Canadian privacy law, Facebook’s terms of use, and the desire for greater control over the use of personal data. The full discussion is embedded below.

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May 3, 2018 Comments are Disabled News