Facial recognition technologies seem likely to become an increasingly commonplace part of travel with scans for boarding passes, security clearance, customs review, and baggage pickup just some of the spots where your face could become the source of screening. Tamir Israel, staff lawyer at CIPPIC, the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa, recently completed a major study on the use of facial recognition technologies at the border. He joins me on the LawBytes podcast to discuss the current use of the technologies, how they are likely to become even more ubiquitous in the future, and the state of Canadian law to ensure appropriate safeguards and privacy protections.
As the second wave of COVID-19 seems to have arrived in many countries, the importance of measures such as social distancing, masks, testing, and tracing takes on increased importance. In Canada, the COVID Alert App is another important part of that toolkit. The app has been downloaded more than 4.5 million times and has been used to alert users to a potential exposure to the virus nearly 1,700 times. Despite the potential benefits, there remain many skeptics. Ann Cavoukian, a three-time Ontario privacy commissioner and one of Canada’s best known privacy experts, joins the LawBytes podcast this week to talk about the exposure notification and how it addresses potential privacy concerns.
The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 65: My Ian Kerr Memorial Lecture – Privacy and Zambonis in the Age of COVID-19
One year ago this week, Ian Kerr, a friend, colleague, teacher, and prescient scholar in the world of law, technology, and ethics, passed away. Ian’s loss sparked an outpouring of stories of a truly exceptional person whose friendship, mentorship, and “en-Kerr-agement”, left a remarkable legacy with so many citing his impact as a defining moment in their lives and careers. Given the impact Ian had on the privacy world, the IAPP launched an annual lecture in his honour at the IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium. While this year’s symposium was cancelled, the Kerr Memorial Lecture went ahead with an online streamed lecture.
I was honoured to deliver the inaugural lecture, titled Privacy and Zambonis in the Age of COVID-19. This week’s podcast features that lecture, which I think is most notable for exploring how Ian’s scholarship remains so fresh and relevant today with much to teach about the challenges of privacy in our current world.
The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 64: “You’re Seeing the Breakup of the Web” – Anupam Chander on the Battle over TikTok
TikTok has found itself at the centre of a global geo-political fight between the United States and China. U.S. President Donald Trump, citing privacy, censorship, and national security concerns, first declared his plan to ban the app from the country and later followed up with an Executive Order prohibiting commercial activities with TikTok after a 45 day implementation period. What does the battle over TikTok and other Chinese-owned apps mean for their users and for the future of an open and accessible Internet? Anupam Chander, a law professor at Georgetown University and leading expert on the global regulation of new technologies, joins the podcast to explain the recent developments, unpack the legal issues, and assess the broader geo-political implications.
The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 63: Ontario Privacy Commissioner Patricia Kosseim on the COVID Alert App
The Canadian government released its COVID Alert, its COVID-19 exposure notification app, earlier this month starting first with a roll-out in Ontario. I’ve written how I’ve made the decision to install it, noting that the voluntary app does not collect personal information nor provide the government (or anyone else) with location information. The app underwent two privacy reviews, engaging both the federal privacy commissioner and the Ontario information and privacy commissioner.
Patricia Kosseim, the newly appointed Ontario privacy commissioner, had only been on the job for a few hours before she was dealing with the app that was bound to attract public attention. Commissioner Kosseim joins me on the podcast to discuss the app, her review, the interaction between different governments and commissioners, and why she installed the app the day it was released.