Privacy reform in Canada has lagged at the federal level with the efforts to update PIPEDA seemingly going nowhere, but multiple provinces have moved ahead with amending their own laws. Quebec leads the way as late last month it quietly passed Bill 64, a major privacy reform package that reflects – and even goes beyond – many emerging international privacy law standards. Chantal Bernier, the former interim privacy commissioner of Canada, now leads the Dentons law firm’s Canadian Privacy and Cybersecurity practice group. She joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about Bill 64, including its origins, key provisions, and implications for privacy law in Canada.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 103: Privacy Reform Comes to Canada – Chantal Bernier on the Passage of Quebec’s Bill 64
Tracking the Submissions: What the Government Heard in its Online Harms Consultation (Since It Refuses to Post Them)
The Canadian government’s consultation on online harms concluded earlier this week with a wide range of organizations and experts responding with harshly critical submissions that warn of the harm to freedom of expression, the undermining of Canada’s position in the world as a leader in human rights, and the risk that the proposed measures could hurt the very groups it is purportedly intended to help. I posted my submission and pulled together a Twitter stream of other submissions.
There has been some press coverage of the consultation response from the Globe and Mail and National Post, but Canadian Heritage officials have said they will not post the submissions they received, claiming some “may contain confidential business information.” Keeping the results of the consultation is secret is incredibly damaging, raising further questions about whether the government plans to incorporate the feedback or simply march ahead with an extreme, deeply flawed proposal.
Failure to Balance Freedom of Expression and Protection from Online Harms: My Submission to the Government’s Consultation on Addressing Harmful Content Online
The government’s consultation on its proposed approach to address harmful content online concluded over the weekend. The consultation was one of several consults that ran during the election period and which raise questions about whether policy makers are genuinely interested in incorporating feedback from Canadians. I submitted to all the various consultations and will be posting those submissions this week.
I start with my online harms submission. The full submission, which touches on issues such as 24 hour takedowns, website blocking, proactive monitoring, and enforcement, can be found here. To learn more about the issues, catch my Law Bytes podcast episode with Cynthia Khoo or listen to a terrific discussion that I had together with Daphne Keller on the Tech Policy Press Podcast. The submission opens with eight general comments that I’ve posted below:
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 102: Colleen Flood on the Legal, Ethical and Policy Implications of Vaccine Passports
Vaccine passports or certificates launched in Ontario last week, a development welcomed by some and strongly opposed by others. The launch raises a myriad of legal, ethical, privacy, and policy issues as jurisdictions around the world grapple with the continued global pandemic and the unusual requirements of demonstrating vaccination in order to enter some public or private spaces.
Professor Colleen Flood, a colleague at the University of Ottawa, has been writing and thinking about these issues for many months. Later today, she will be part of a panel discussion that explores the policy challenges hosted by the University of Ottawa Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics, and the Centre for Law, Technology and Society. She joins the Law Bytes podcast with an advance preview as we discuss the legal balancing act, models from around the world, and the concerns that governments should be thinking about in this next stage of dealing with COVID-19.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 101: OpenMedia’s Laura Tribe on Digital Policy and the 2021 Canadian Election
It is election day in Canada following a late summer campaign in which the focus was largely anything but digital issues: COVID, climate change, Afghanistan, and affordability all dominated the daily talking points. The digital policy issues that grabbed attention throughout the spring – Bill C-10, online harms, wireless pricing – were largely absent from the discussion and in some cases even from party platforms. Laura Tribe, the executive director of OpenMedia, joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss digital policies and the 2021 election campaign. Our conversation walks through a wide range of issues, including the surprising omission of wireless pricing from the Liberal platform, the future of Bill C-10, and the failure of privacy reform to garner much political traction.