Wiertz Sebastien - Privacy by Sebastien Wiertz (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/ahk6nh
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 168: Privacy Commissioner of Canada Philippe Dufresne on How to Fix Bill C-27
It has taken many months, but Bill C-27, the government’s long overdue effort at privacy reform finally is headed to committee for review. Philippe Dufresne, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, has been patiently waiting for this moment, armed with a comprehensive review of the bill and a wide range of recommendations for amendments that include a more explicit framing of privacy as a fundamental right.
Dufresne was appointed as Canada’s privacy commissioner nearly one year ago and in months since has made numerous committee appearances, issued high profile findings involving companies such as Home Depot, battled Internet companies in the courts, and worked on the privacy implications of AI. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to reflect back on his first year in the position and to outline his proposals to strengthen Canada’s best shot at a modernized privacy law.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 166: Colin Bennett on How the Government Is the Using the Budget Implementation Act to Weaken the Privacy Rules for Political Parties
For the second consecutive year, the government is using the Budget Implementation Act to quietly pass concerning legislation with minimal oversight or public attention. Last year, the BIA was used to extend the term of copyright in order to comply with the USMCA. This year, it is privacy that is at issue, with provisions related to political parties. Why would the government squeeze in privacy rules on political parties in Bill C-47?
Colin Bennett, a Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria and a leading privacy expert, has the answer. He’s been focused on Canada’s inadequate privacy rules governing political parties for a decade and is now sounding the alarm on the bill, noting that the provisions appear to be an effort to sideline a case in British Columbia that would apply tougher provincial privacy rules to Canada’s national political parties. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to explain.
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 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.
Why the Government Should Hit the Regenerate Button on its AI Bill
As anyone who has tried ChatGPT will know, at the bottom of each response is an option to ask the AI system to “regenerate response”. Despite increasing pressure on the government to move ahead with Bill C-27’s Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA), the right response would be to hit the regenerate button and start over. AIDA may be well-meaning and the issue of AI regulation critically important, but the bill is limited in principles and severely lacking in detail, leaving virtually all of the heavy lifting to a regulation-making process that will take years to unfold. While no one should doubt the importance of AI regulation, Canadians deserve better than virtue signalling on the issue with a bill that never received a full public consultation.
Canada’s Privacy Failure: Federal Court Dismisses Privacy Commissioner’s Complaint Against Facebook Over Cambridge Analytica
The Federal Court of Canada last week dismissed the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s complaint against Facebook stemming from alleged privacy violations involving Cambridge Analytica. The Privacy Commissioner ruled against Facebook in 2019, but Facebook disagreed with the findings and took the matter to court. Last week, a court sided with the social media giant, concluding that the Privacy Commissioner did not provide sufficient evidence that Facebook failed to obtain meaningful consent when sharing information with third-party applications and rejecting a claim that Facebook did not adequately safeguard user information. The Cambridge Analytica case sparked investigations and complaints worldwide, leading to a $5 billion penalty in the U.S., significant settlements of private lawsuits, fines in the UK, and extensive new rules in the European Union. Yet in Canada, the case against the company has been dismissed, raising troubling questions about how it was handled and the adequacy of Canadian privacy law.