Wiertz Sebastien - Privacy by Sebastien Wiertz (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/ahk6nh
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 133: Michael Nesbitt on How the Senate Pushed Back Against a Government Bill on Searching Digital Devices at the Border
It isn’t every day that a Senate committee examines legislation and makes notable changes against the wishes of the government. But that’s what happened last month as a Senate committee reviewed Bill S-7, which raised significant privacy concerns regarding the legal standard for searches of digital devices at the border. A chorus of opposition sparked by Senator Paula Simons led to changes in the bill with the Chair of the committee acknowledging “we did not have one witness except the minister and the officials say that the new standard was a good idea.”
University of Calgary law professor Michael Nesbitt, who teaches and researches in the areas of criminal and national security law, appeared before the committee to argue against the government’s proposed approach. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about the bill, the change at the Senate, and what lies ahead as the bill moves to the House of Commons in the fall.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 132: Ryan Black on the Government’s Latest Attempt at Privacy Law Reform
Parliament is now on break for the summer, but just prior to heading out of Ottawa, the government introduced Bill C-27. The privacy reform bill that is really three bills in one: a reform of PIPEDA, a bill to create a new privacy tribunal, and an artificial intelligence regulation bill. What’s in the bill from a privacy perspective and what’s changed? Is this bill any likelier to become law than an earlier bill that failed to even advance to committee hearings? To help sort through the privacy aspects of Bill C-27, Ryan Black, a Vancouver-based partner with the law firm DLA Piper (Canada), joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss everything from changes to consent requirements to how the law will be enforced.
The Groundhog Day Privacy Bill: The Government Waited Months to Bring Back Roughly the Same Privacy Plan?!
Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne yesterday unveiled Bill C-27, the updated privacy reform law. While Champagne described it is a “historic day”, the bill is better described as a case of Groundhog Day, since it looks an awful lot like the last privacy bill that died with last year’s election call and which never even advanced to the committee stage. I wrote earlier this week about the government’s seeming indifference to privacy and this bill doesn’t do much to change the analysis as the bill raises many of the same questions and will likely face similar opposition.
Over the past several weeks, there have been several important privacy developments in Canada including troubling privacy practices at well-known organizations such as the CBC and Tim Hortons, a call from business organizations for privacy reform, the nomination of a new privacy commissioner with little privacy experience, and a decision by a Senate committee to effectively overrule the government on border privacy rules. These developments raise the puzzling question of why the federal government – led by Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, and Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez – are so indifferent to privacy, at best treating it as a low priority issue and at worst proposing dangerous measures or seemingly hoping to cash in on weak privacy laws in order to fund other policy priorities.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 124: David Fraser on Negotiating a CLOUD Act Agreement Between Canada and the United States
The CLOUD Act, which allows US law enforcement to use a warrant or subpoena to compel U.S.-based technology companies to provide data stored on servers regardless of where the data is located, was first introduced in the United States in 2018. Canada and the US recently announced plans to negotiate a Cloud Act agreement which would ease cross-border disclosures of data between the two countries.
David Fraser is a lawyer with McInnes Cooper in Halifax and one of Canada’s leading privacy experts. He regularly acts for clients on data disclosure matters and was one of the first to highlight the negotiations and its implications on his Youtube channel. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about the Cloud Act, how it might fit into Canada’s privacy law framework, and how Canada should approach the negotiations.