The controversy over Facebook and Cambridge Analytica was back in the spotlight in Canada as the Federal Court sided with Facebook and against the Privacy Commissioner of Canada in a decision arising from a 2019 investigation into the matter. The Privacy Commissioner ruled against Facebook in 2019, but Facebook disagreed with the findings, took the matter to court, and won. What lies behind the decision and what does it mean for privacy in Canada? My colleague Teresa Scassa, who holds the Canada Research Chair In Information Law, is widely regarded as one of Canada’s leading privacy law experts. She posted on the decision soon after its release and joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about the ruling and its broader implications.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 164: Teresa Scassa on the Latest Canadian Court Ruling on Facebook and What It Might Mean for Privacy Reform
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 163: Cohere AI CEO Aidan Gomez on the Emerging Legal and Regulatory Challenges for Artificial Intelligence
ChatGPT burst onto the public scene late last year, giving artificial intelligence its “aha moment” for many people. AI is now seemingly everywhere, attracting enormous attention and excitement alongside concerns, legal threats and talk of regulation. The potential of AI is evident to just about everyone, but the challenges associated with bias, copyright, privacy, misinformation and more can’t be ignored. Cohere AI is a Canadian-based AI firm that is widely viewed as one of Canada’s AI stars for its large language models that enable companies of all sizes to integrate AI technologies. Aidan Gomez, who worked on the “T” in ChatGPT, is the co-founder and CEO of Cohere AI. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about AI and his views on the myriad of emerging legal and regulatory issues.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 162: Paul Andersen on the Rogers-Shaw Merger and the Disappearing Independent Internet Provider in Canada
Last week, Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne tried to spin his approval of the Rogers-Shaw merger and the enhanced role of Videotron as a win for Canadians, arguing that somehow fewer competitors would lead to greater competition. But in recent months, the Canadian communications landscape has shifted, not only with this merger but also with the gradual disappearance of a half-dozen independent providers who have been swallowed up by the large companies. What does this mean for the wireless and Internet competition in Canada? Is there any hope for consumers for a respite from some of the world’s highest prices? Paul Andersen is the Chair of CNOC – the Competitive Network Operators of Canada – and the President of E-Gate Networks, an independent provider. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about the implications of the merger, the loss of many independent providers and recent leadership changes at the CRTC.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 161: Canadian Chamber of Commerce President Perrin Beatty on Why the Government’s Bill C-18 Motion Establishes a Dangerous, Undemocratic Precedent
Bill C-18, the online news bill whose foundation is mandated payments for links, has unsurprisingly sparked reaction from Google and Facebook that raises the possibility of stopping linking to Canadian news. In an act of obvious retribution, the government responded to the companies response with a motion from Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage Chris Bittle that demanded a wide range of internal and external documents dating back years and even looped in the private correspondence of companies, NGOs, journalists and potentially of thousands of Canadians. At committee, Liberal MP Anthony Housefather introduced a motion that removed some of the most problematic elements, but still left in place what is best described as a fishing expedition.
Perrin Beatty is a former Cabinet Minister under Prime Ministers Clark and Mulroney, was named President of the CBC by Jean Chretien, and is now the President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. His members are split in their views of Bill C-18, but not on the motion at Heritage committee. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss the concerns with the motion and the dangerous precedent it sets.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 160: Peter Carrescia on Why Patents Won’t Solve Canada’s Innovation Problem
In recent years, there has been growing effort to link longstanding concerns about Canadian innovation with patents. The argument – which has crossed into Canada’s strategy around AI – posits that the road to an innovative economy is inextricably linked to a greater emphasis on intellectual property and in particular on patents. But what if the correlation between patents and innovation is weak at best? What if an emphasis on patents may actually be harmful to startups whose attention and resources is better placed elsewhere?
Peter Carrescia is a successful innovator and investor who recently wrote a Globe and Mail op-ed that raises precisely these issues, warning that “creating policy that pushes patents regardless of area or company stage and gauges success by counting patents is misguided and, in fact, dangerous to the success of startups.” He joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about his experience and concerns with direction of government policy that may be mistaking an IP policy for an innovation one.