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39 minutes | 12 days ago
Episode 70: "It's Massive Free Distribution" - Village Media's Jeff Elgie on Why His Company Opposes Lobbying Efforts to Establish a Licence for Linking to News Stories
News Media Canada, the lobby group representing the major newspaper publishers in Canada recently launched a new campaign that calls for the creation of a government digital media regulatory agency that would have the power to establish mandated payments by Internet companies merely for linking to news articles. But not everyone in the sector - or even within News Media Canada - agrees with the position. Jeff Elgie is the CEO and majority shareholder of Village Media, a digital-only media organization that operates local news and community websites throughout Ontario. He joins the Law Bytes podcast this week to talk about operating local news sites in the current environment, why he welcomes referral traffic from companies like Facebook and Google, and why though he respects News Media Canada, he hopes that a new association will emerge that better represents the diversity of news media in Canada.
41 minutes | 19 days ago
Episode 69: Bram Abramson on the Government's Plan to Regulate Internet Streaming Services
Last week, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault introduced Bill C-10, legislation that would significantly reform Canada’s Broadcasting Act. A foundational part of what he has called a “get money from web giants” legislative strategy, the bill grants new powers to Canada’s telecom and broadcast regulator (the CRTC) to regulate online streaming services. Bram Abramson is one of Canada’s leading communications law lawyers and managing director of a new digital risk and rights strategy firm called 32M. He joins the podcast to talk about the past, present and future of broadcast regulation, in particular what Bill C-10 could mean for the regulation of online streaming services.
31 minutes | a month ago
Episode 68: Mike Pal on What the Canadian Experience Teaches About the Intersection Between Election Law and the Internet
The world will be focused on the United States this week as the U.S. Presidential election is slated to take place on Tuesday, November 3rd. The role of social media has been in the spotlight in the US for months with calls for regulation, a range of responses from the major companies, and ongoing concerns about the immediate aftermath of the election and fears that their platforms could be weaponized if the winner is in dispute. Canada had its own national election one year ago and enacted a range of reforms designed to address some of these issues. Mike Pal is a colleague at the University of Ottawa where he specializes in election law. He joins the LawBytes podcast to discuss the Canadian experience including what changes were made, whether they were effective, what more can be done, and what Canada might teach others about confronting the challenges that lie at the intersection between elections and the Internet.
31 minutes | a month ago
Episode 67: Tamir Israel on Facial Recognition Technologies at the Border
Facial recognition technologies seem likely to become an increasingly common 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 the 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.
23 minutes | a month ago
Episode 66: Ann Cavoukian on Why Canadians Can Trust the COVID Alert App
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 app and how it addresses potential privacy concerns.
38 minutes | 3 months ago
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. This week’s podcast features that lecture, which I was honoured to deliver and 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.
31 minutes | 3 months ago
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 me on the podcast to explain the recent developments, unpack the legal issues, and assess the broader geo-political implications.
40 minutes | 4 months ago
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. 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.
31 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 62: Colin Bennett on What the Schrems II Decision Means for Global Data Transfers and Canadian Privacy Law
The Schrems II decision, a recent European Court of Justice ruling that declares the Privacy Shield program that facilitates data transfers between the EU and the United States invalid, has major implications for modern commercial data related activities such as cross-border data transfers. Colin Bennett is a political science professor at the University of Victoria and one of Canada’s leading privacy experts. He has written multiple books on privacy and surveillance and focuses on the development and implementation of privacy protection policies at the domestic and international levels. He joins the podcast to discuss the decision and what it means for global data transfers and the future of Canada’s privacy law framework.
39 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 61: Senator James Cowan on the Extraordinary Battle for a Genetic Anti-Discrimination Law in Canada
As the broad availability of genetic testing has mushroomed over the past two decades, privacy and potential discrimination concerns associated with testing results has increased. Until recently, Canada lagged behind other countries in this regard with no specific national legislation. That changed in 2017 with the enactment of the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act. The law underwent a remarkable parliamentary journey featuring opposition from successive governments, lobbying against the bill by the insurance industry, passage in the House of Commons despite objections from then-Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, and a court challenge in which the government supported the effort to declare the law invalid. Senator James Cowan, the lead proponent of the legislation, joins me on the podcast to discuss what prompted him to take on the issue and the unlikely path of Canada’s genetic non-discrimination law.
36 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 60: Alberta Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton on the ABTraceTogether Contact Tracing App
From the very outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, public health officials have identified the potential of contact tracing applications to both assist in conventional contact tracing activities and to warn individuals that they may have been in close proximity to someone who tested positive for the virus. The Government of Alberta was first off the mark with its ABTraceTogether app that launched in May 2020. Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton recently completed her review of the application with an extensive investigation into its privacy implications that included an examination of the technical details, how the app functions, the role of third parties, and access to the data by contact tracers and other officials. Commissioner Clayton joins me on the podcast to discuss her report, the positive aspects of the app implementation, and the ongoing concerns that her review uncovered.
28 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 59: "It's a Racist Policy" - Ben Cashdan on the U.S. Effort to Derail South Africa's Copyright Reform
South Africa spent years embroiled in a high profile effort to update its copyright law responding to concerns from creators, the education community, and the visually impaired that the longstanding laws did not serve the national interest and were harming creativity and access to knowledge. Its Parliament ultimately passed progressive reforms in 2019, but the bill languished on the desk of President Cyril Ramaphosa, who faced enormous trade pressures from the United States and European Union to not sign the bill and stop it from becoming law. Last month, he seemingly caved to the pressure, citing constitutional concerns in sending it back to the Parliament. Ben Cashdan is a South African documentary film maker and television producer who was active during the copyright reform process. He joins the podcast to discuss the decade-long reform process, the external pressures, and explains why he thinks those pressures should be viewed as racist policies.
35 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 58: "An Earth Shattering Decision" - Marina Pavlovic on the Supreme Court of Canada's Uber v. Heller Ruling
The Supreme Court of Canada recently released its much anticipated Uber Technologies v. Heller decision, a landmark ruling with significant implications for the validity of online contracts and for employment relations in the gig economy. The court rejected an arbitration clause in an Uber contract with its drivers, finding the clause unconscionable. Professor Marina Pavlovic is a friend and colleague at the University of Ottawa, who appeared before the Supreme Court representing the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic as an intervener in the case. She joined me on the podcast to discuss the decision and to explain why she believes it is an earth shattering ruling for online contracts in Canada.
44 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 57: Julia Reda on What Canada Should Learn from the European Battle over a Copyright Link Tax
Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault recently suggested that the government's support for news media should be replaced by copyright rules that would open the door to payments from internet companies such as Google and Facebook through an Internet link tax. Julia Reda is a former Member of the European Parliament who for several years was the most active and visible politician in Europe when it came to copyright reform. She joins me on the podcast to talk about that experience, why she believes a link tax harms freedom of expression and diversity of media, and what lessons Canada should draw from the European developments.
26 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 56: Eloïse Gratton on Quebec's Plan to Overhaul its Privacy Law
The state of Canadian privacy law has been ongoing source of concern with many experts concluding that the law is outdated and no longer fit for purpose. This is particularly true when contrasted with rules in the European Union that feature tough penalties and new privacy rights. It would appear that the province of Quebec has concluded that the waiting has gone on long enough as the provincial government recently introduced Bill 64, which if adopted would overhaul provincial privacy laws and provide a potential model for both the federal government and the other provinces. Eloïse Gratton is a partner at the law firm of Borden Ladner Gervais in Montreal and recognized as one of Canada’s leading privacy law practitioners. She joins the podcast to break down Bill 64 and its implications for privacy enforcement, accountability and new privacy rights.
36 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 55: Mutale Nkonde on Racial Justice, Bias, and Technology
The world has been focused for the past several weeks on racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement, with millions around the world taking to the streets to speak out against inequality and racism. Technology and concerns about racism and bias have been part of the discussion, with some of the world’s leading technology companies changing longstanding policies and practices. Mutale Nkonde is an artificial intelligence policy analyst and a fellow at both the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and at Stanford University’s Digital Civil Society Lab. She joins the podcast this week to talk about this moment in racial justice and technology, racial literacy, and the concerns about bias in artificial intelligence.
36 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 54: Eric Goldman on Internet Platform Liability and the Trump Executive Order
The U.S. approach to Internet platform liability has been characterized as the single most important legal protection for free speech on the Internet. Over the past two decades, every major Internet service has turned to the rules to ensure that liability for third party content posted on their sites rests with the poster, not the site or service. Those rules have proven increasingly controversial, however, with mounting calls for the companies to take on greater responsibility for content posted on their sites. The issue captured international attention last month when U.S. President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order that heightens the pressure for change. Eric Goldman is a Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law in the Silicon Valley where he co-directs the High Tech Law Institute. He has written extensively about Internet liability and appeared before the US Congress to testify on the issue. He joins the podcast to discuss the history behind the U.S. approach, its impact, and the implications of the Trump Executive Order.
40 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 53: Welcome Development or Waste of Time? - A Conversation With Facebook Oversight Board Member Nicolas Suzor
Last month, Facebook revealed the names of the first 20 members of the Facebook Oversight Board, a body charged with conducting independent reviews of content removals. The announcement received at best a mixed greeting - some welcomed the experiment in content moderation, while others argued that the board “will have no influence over anything that really matters in the world.” Professor Nicolas Suzor of the Queensland University of Technology in Australia was named as one of the first 20 members. The author of Lawless: The Secret Rules that Govern our Digital Lives, Nicolas has been critical of Facebook and other Internet platforms and raised concerns about the oversight board when it was first announced. He joins the podcast to discuss the oversight board, the initial criticisms, and his views on how the board can have a positive impact in addressing complex issues that strive to balance freedom of expression with concerns about online harms.
28 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 52: Fair Dealing for Film Makers - Bob Tarantino on the Copyright Implications of the Room Full of Spoons Case
The Room, written, directed, produced and starring Tommy Wiseau, was the subject of the 2017 film The Disaster Artist and a documentary titled Room Full of Spoons by Canadian documentary filmmakers who wanted to tell the story of the film and its popularity. The documentary has been the subject of years of litigation with Wiseau at one point obtaining an injunction to stop its release. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently released an important decision in the case with significant implications for creators involving copyright, fair dealing, moral rights, and a host of other legal issues. Bob Tarantino, Counsel at Dentons Canada LLP, joins the podcast this week to discuss why the decision will be welcome news for documentary filmmakers.
33 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 51: Canada's Urban-Rural Broadband Divide - Josh Tabish on CIRA's Internet Performance Data
The state of Internet access in Canada has been the subject of considerable debate in recent years but few dispute that there are still hundreds of thousands of Canadians without access to broadband services from local providers and that for those that have access, actual speeds may be lower than advertised and below the targets set by the CRTC. CIRA manages the dot-ca domain and has played an increasingly important role on Internet policy matters. It recently submitted a report on the urban-rural broadband divide as part of a CRTC process on potential barriers to broadband in underserved areas. Josh Tabish from CIRA joins the podcast to discuss the IPT, the CRTC submission, and the future of universal access to broadband in Canada.
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