In recent years the intersection between law, technology, and policy has exploded as digital policy has become a mainstream concern in Canada and around the world. This podcast explores digital policies in conversations with people studying the legal and policy challenges, set the rules, or are experts in the field. It provides a Canadian perspective, but since the internet is global, examining international developments and Canada’s role in shaping global digital policy is be an important part of the story.
Lawbytes is hosted by Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law and where he is a member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
From students to experts, everyone learns from this podcast. No wonder the entire legal community subscribes to it.
Thanks for the Tribute to Ian Kerr
Made for an emotional commute this morning, but it was also an inspiration to keep fighting the good fight and to keep paying goodness forward. Thanks Michael.
Would appreciate more context
I realise that, as this is a niche show, most listeners probably already have the prerequisite background knowledge for the discussed issues, but as an outsider, I would really appreciate more contextual introduction/explanation.