I'm lucky to live in the nation's capital (most of the time). I admit the winters can be a bit tough to swallow sometimes. I say this because it means I get to teach at one of the best law schools and I have access to the many decision makers in the federal government.
These two worlds collided recently when Privacy Commissioner of Canada Philippe Dufresne spoke with my law students. His address to the class was heartfelt, professional and, quite frankly, inspiring to the 35 students in the class. Many of the students came up to me afterwards to tell me how exciting it was that he took the time out of his busy schedule to speak with them.
The commissioner's messages were not all about privacy or his office's priorities, although there was a fair amount of that too. He started his remarks by explaining his own background in law school and the early days of his career. His emphasis to the students was if you follow what you are passionate about, success — whatever that means to you — will follow. He spoke eloquently about his early days, getting involved in litigating important human rights cases and how his passion for human rights fit naturally with his relatively new privacy-focused role.
He also spent some time answering questions from the students, like what did he think about the proposal being put forward in the EU that would have the option of paying for social media accounts versus receiving them for free/with ads. He also spoke about artificial intelligence, as well as the importance of protecting children's and minors' privacy rights. All in all, it was a fantastic hour and I'm grateful he took the time.
On a completely different note, I would be a little remiss if I didn't try to update you on what is going on at the parliamentary committee that is studying Bill C-27. Recently, Information Accountability Foundation Chief Strategist Elizabeth Denham and McCarthy Tétrault Senior Counsel Barry Sookman appeared before the committee to mostly talk about AI and how the bill could be improved in this respect, by borrowing from some EU and U.K. concepts. Here's an article if you want to read more about that. And, seemingly on cue, the minister responsible for the law tabled a motion to amend the AI component of the law. There are lots of them and I admittedly didn't have time to read them all — but I'll definitely be taking the time this weekend.
Speaking of the weekend — have a great one.
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