Wiertz Sebastien - Privacy by Sebastien Wiertz (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/ahk6nh

Wiertz Sebastien - Privacy by Sebastien Wiertz (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/ahk6nh

Privacy

VJR15560 by Collision Conference (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/2fV85J3

Why the Coming Battle Over Canadian Privacy Reform Starts at Home

Canadian privacy law is now widely regarded as outdated and ill-equipped to address the emerging challenges that arise from the massive collection and use of personal information. Canada’s private sector privacy law was drafted in the 1990s, well before the advent of a data-driven economy and the need for reform has grown increasingly urgent as Canadian law falls behind comparable rules around the world.

Guided by Canada’s Digital Charter, a roadmap for reform released last spring, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains has promised to lead on privacy reform. While many may expect opposition to tougher privacy rules to come from large Internet companies such as Facebook, my Globe and Mail op-ed notes that a recent report from the Business Council of Canada suggests that a bigger barrier may come from some of Canada’s largest companies, including big banks, airlines, retailers, insurance providers, and telecom giants.

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March 18, 2020 2 comments Columns
22 NAFTA Style by Steven Taylor (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/CSNKez

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 42: What Does the Canada-US-Mexico Trade Agreement Mean for Digital Policy?

The ratification of the Canada – US- Mexico Trade Agreement has captured considerable attention with several committees studying Bill C-4, the bill aimed at ratifying the deal. Over the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to appear before two of those committees – the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade and on Industry, Science and Technology – where I discussed the digital law and policy implications the agreement. This week’s podcast features excerpts from those appearances, including my opening statement and the ensuing discussion with several MPs on copyright term extension, cultural policy, and privacy.

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March 9, 2020 2 comments Podcasts
Yuya Ong demonstrating facial recognition technology by Penn State https://flic.kr/p/HiEvXB (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 41: Nasma Ahmed With a Call for a Ban on Facial Recognition Technologies

Facial recognition technologies have attracted mounting attention in recent weeks led by a New York Times report on Clearview AI, soon followed by revelations of police use of the service in multiple Canadian cities. In fact, just after recording the interview for this podcast, there were revelations that the Clearview AI service has been used in Canada by an even wider array of police forces, retailers, insurance investigators, and others than previously imagined. In some instances, those organizations had denied using the service. There are now several privacy commissioner investigations into the situation.

To examine the concerns associated with facial recognition technologies and what we should do about it, I’m joined on the podcast this week by Nasma Ahmed, a technologist and community organizer that works within the intersections of social justice, technology and policy. She recently published an op-ed in the Globe and Mail with McGill’s Taylor Owen calling for a pause on the technology. Nasma is currently Director of the Digital Justice Lab, which is based in Toronto.

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March 2, 2020 3 comments Podcasts
President Donald J. Trump at the G20 Summit by the White House (Public Domain) https://flic.kr/p/2dgdd46

The CUSMA Cost: My Appearances Before the Standing Committees on International Trade and Industry, Science and Technology

Over the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to appear before two House of Commons committees – International Trade and Industry, Science and Technology – to discuss the digital law and policy implications of the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement. My opening remarks were nearly identical and focused on four issues: copyright term extension, the cultural exemption, privacy and data protection, and Internet platform liability. The Standing Committee on International Trade yesterday released its report on Bill C-4, the bill implementing CUSMA, with no changes, meaning that lobbying pressure to immediately extend the term of copyright was rejected.

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February 28, 2020 1 comment News
Minneapolis Data Privacy Listening Session by Tony Webster (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/2hUwUZj

“We Don’t Have Any Specific Analysis”: CUSMA Negotiators Surprising Admission On Key Privacy Issues

Earlier this week, the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology began hearings on Bill C-4, the bill designed to implement the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement. I appeared before the committee to discuss digital issues (more on the appearance in an upcoming post), but just prior to my panel, the team of lead negotiators from Global Affairs took questions from Members of Parliament.

The questioning opened with a stunning exchange between Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner and chief negotiator Steve Verheul on the privacy analysis (or lack thereof) conducted by Canadian officials:

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February 27, 2020 5 comments News