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Canada Dashboard Digest | Notes from the IAPP Canada Managing Director, March 5, 2021 Related reading: Notes from the IAPP Canada Managing Director, Feb. 26, 2021

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Last week, I mentioned Bill C-11, the new federal law introduced by the federal government, appeared to have stalled in the legislative process. Then, Michael Geist wrote a blog about it, which seems to have gotten some people’s attention. In particular, Minister François-Philippe Champagne tweeted in response to Geist’s take (I’m sure it was more likely Geist’s article as opposed to my comments in the digest that drew his attention), blaming the slowdown in the process on the Conservative Party. His tweet went on to say that passing Bill C-11 was still a priority of his.

Good to see our political leaders working together to get good things done in Ottawa, eh? Frustrating for sure.

And, in other Bill C-11 news, both the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Open Media — two of the stronger privacy advocate groups in Canada — have come out with strong words against the proposed new law. John Lawford from PIAC called it “trash.” Harsh words! While I don’t think everything in the new law is fantastic, I, for one, do think it’s a necessary step in the right direction of modernizing our privacy legislation.

I guess I hope the political shenanigans stop sooner rather than later and the bill gets sent to Committee, where some of its shortfalls can get hashed out.

Getting a more modern privacy legislative landscape in Canada is surely needed for a host of reasons. One that comes to mind this week is the need to protect personal information when it comes to new and nefarious uses of AI better. I was asked to review an academic article being considered for publication in a law review journal, and the topic of the paper was "deepfakes." I learned a lot about how AI is now being used to create imposters of people. Soon, the technology will be flawless, and you’ll be hard-pressed to tell if you’re speaking with the real Kris Klein or a bot pretending to be him. You may be wondering … is this really me writing this right now? It’s scary, and I don’t think our current legal response is adequate to tackle some of the harms that could result from this technology.

So, please, I realize I’m not Michael Geist (he has better hair!), but will you listen to me just once and get moving on this very important matter?

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