TOTAL: {[ getCartTotalCost() | currencyFilter ]} Update cart for total shopping_basket Checkout

Canada Dashboard Digest | Notes from the IAPP Canada Managing Director, 9 Feb. 2024 Related reading: Notes from the IAPP Canada Managing Director, 2 Feb. 2024



I watched the House of Commons of Canada Standing Committee on Industry and Technology's 7 Feb. meeting on Bill C-27, the latest in a line of hearings to explore the omnibus legislation carrying proposed federal privacy reform and artificial intelligence regulation. 

The witnesses for this hearing were all from Big Tech and focused the discussion on AI more than privacy. The representatives from Google, Amazon Web Services, Meta and Microsoft were all in agreement that AI regulation is needed, but pointed out some flaws with Bill C-27's proposed approach. The one issue that was probably talked about the most was the need to make sure Canada's approach to regulating AI is interoperable with what the rest of the world is going to do.

To me, this is very much a moving target. New policy and legal positions around AI are being introduced almost daily around the world.  While I don't like the idea of Canada sleeping on this, I do think it's important to try and get it as right as possible. Some of the witnesses remarked that AIDA as currently drafted — with amendments proposed by Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne — would be the toughest AI law out there.

While I don't mind if a law is tough, I do not want one that creates an uneven playing field for Canadian organizations to compete globally. And we all want the smart, efficient and ethical use of AI to flourish in Canada — we don't want to fall behind other countries.

It's a bit of conundrum. Move too quickly and we may ultimately hinder innovation. Move too slowly and face the potential of bad things happening.

I didn't watch the standing committee's first hearing of the week on 5 Feb., but from the list of witnesses, it seems that the topic was again AIDA.

I'm glad committee members are digging in on this important topic. But judging by some of their questions to the witnesses, I'm afraid they may not be focused on the right issues. For example, Member of Canadian Parliament Brian Masse took up all his time asking Big Tech firms if the fines they've paid in other countries have ever resulted in monetary compensation to Canadians. Seemed misguided to me and, quite frankly, just showmanship. I guess that's part of the parliamentary process too.

I'm still worried about whether this bill will ever the see the day of light. Imagine if and when it does pass though. What will I have left to write or complain about? Luckily privacy is never boring.

Have a great weekend!


If you want to comment on this post, you need to login.