We discuss Bill C-11, a proposed law to change our federal private sector privacy act that protects consumers private information when they deal with businesses.
PIAC's articling student, Yuka Sai, joins John Lawford to discuss the epic battle between business, with an assist from the federal government, and consumers over privacy.
This battle centres on Bill C-11 and in particular, the part called the "Consumer Privacy Protection Act".
This doublespeak title hides the facts that the bill will amend our present Canadian private sector privacy act, the Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), to allow collection and use of your personal information for any "business purpose" without your consent. This is a reversal of the law that, what, they thought we would just not notice? Seriously? Also discussed is the issue of anonymization of data, the difference of that concept with pseudonymization, and why Bill C-11 totally fails by mixing up these two concepts under the umbrella of "de-identified" data. Guess what, under Bill C-11, "de-identified" data, whatever that is, can be used indiscriminately by business and can be shared with a third party, provided it is shared with a government-related institution for a "socially beneficial purpose". What is a socially beneficial purpose? It's what the government defines it as. Nice.
What's being done with all of this data that everyone seems to want? It's going into artificial intelligence (AI). Algorithms will be used on this massive amount of data, so that AI, not humans, can make decisions that affect you as a consumer, like, will you get an insurance policy and how much will your policy cost (if it lets you get one)? Under Bill C-11, a business will tell you if they are making decisions about you based on AI, but only if you ask. What if you object and want a human decision? Too bad. There's no constitutional right to privacy in Canada, unlike in Europe. Is it time to change that?
So, we stand on the precipice of losing consumer privacy rights in Canada. Do you care? If so, please listen and join us in taking on the fight to defeat Bill C-11. Shame on them.
Lastly, for "told you so", we discuss the dismissal of the Internet wholesale rate application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Now the CRTC has to reconsider the rates. Wait for it. Again.