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Digital Policy Salon: Tech Regulation in Theory and Practice

Welcome to the thirteenth issue of the Digital Policy Salon briefing. We've seen significant changes
Digital Policy Salon
Digital Policy Salon: Tech Regulation in Theory and Practice
By ICTC-CTIC • Issue #13 • View online
Welcome to the thirteenth issue of the Digital Policy Salon briefing.
We’ve seen significant changes in the policy world over the last several months, and this week is no different. Contact tracing apps have begun to proliferate, with well-known Canadian names developing alternate solutions across the country. As always, health and safety is in balance with privacy and security, and our perspective piece and interview this week delve into key considerations and recommendations to do with AI regulation, while our featured research hones in on cybersecurity needs. From academic specialists considering unforeseen risks and risk management, to policymakers engaging with the challenge of over- or under-defining technologies in regulation, the conversation around governing emerging technologies seems to be increasing in breadth and depth alongside improved public awareness.
Complementing new policy considerations are countless tech companies, SMEs, and startups responding to COVID-19 by promoting digital adoption, creating new jobs, and providing valuable services in the face of a pandemic. Don’t forget to check out our special event this week: a virtual panel on the small business and tech startup ecosystems of British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia.
Tyler & Faun

COVID-19 Policy Updates 🇨🇦
Contact tracing? There are apps for that.
Alberta, Québec, Ontario, and BC are home to a growing list of organizations developing made-in-Canada apps to track the spread of COVID-19, including Mila, Mimik, LivNao, Mappedin, Shopify, and the province of Alberta. Having more than one app in use in Canada may threaten the success of automated tracing efforts; after all, contact tracing apps are more effective when widely used, as they can draw from a larger pool of data.
Though the federal government recently endorsed the use of a single app nation-wide, reports suggest that there has been resistance from some provinces. Similarly, the plan to introduce an app has sparked concern among Canadian security experts and privacy commissioners, while a recent survey found that 57.4% of Canadians perceive a mandatory tracing app as unacceptable.
5G spectrum auction delayed until summer 2021
Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED) announced on Friday that they are delaying the planned 5G spectrum auction so that the telecommunications industry can continue to focus on providing essential services to Canadians.
Just under half of Canadians received virtual care during COVID-19, poll suggests
A recent poll by the Canadian Medical Association suggests that just under half (47%) of Canadians have used virtual tools like text and video to receive medical care during the pandemic, and 91% identified that they were “very satisfied” with the experience.
Tech companies help drive digital adoption among Canadian businesses
Google Canada, Shopify, and Microsoft have joined forces with the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas to help 50,000 Canadian businesses get online by the end of 2020. The program was designed to assist with business continuity during COVID-19 and provides services related to digital marketing and setting up an online store.
Domestic travel earmarked to help boost Canada’s tourism industry
The federal government has set aside $30 million to encourage more Canadians to travel domestically and explore their own backyard this season, although some industry experts say the measures won’t be enough to curtail job and revenue losses. According to ISED, tourism generates $102 billion in annual economic activity and 1.8 million jobs across Canada each year. International and inter-provincial travel restrictions resulting from COVID-19 have had a significant impact on this industry, with devastating revenue and job losses to date. - Mairead Matthews | email
Our Perspective
Regulating AI in Canada: ICTC’s Submission to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Public Consultation
Special Events
Join Us For a Virtual Panel
Interviews in the Field
The Future of AI Governance
Dr. Carina Prunkl, Senior Research Scholar at the Future of Humanity Institute
Dr. Carina Prunkl, Senior Research Scholar at the Future of Humanity Institute
What We're Reading
Why we have a love-hate relationship with electric scooters
Research Visualized
Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) incorporate the use of advanced and emerging technologies, including Operational Technologies (OT). Systems that make transportation networks smarter also come along with key cybersecurity needs. The following chart from the report “Developing Cyber Talent for Canadian Road Authorities” (May 2019) represents a synthesis of data on in-demand roles in Canada for secure OT implementation.
Source: ICTC, "Developing Cyber Talent for Canadian Road Authorities," May 2019, p. 17.
Source: ICTC, "Developing Cyber Talent for Canadian Road Authorities," May 2019, p. 17.
This topic remains timely, as transit companies across the world may be moving to increase the amount of data collected on transportation volume (e.g., to track the number of passengers in a train car and ensure that a maximum volume is not exceeded for COVID-19-related health and safety). Accordingly, we may see ongoing demand for both data scientists and cybersecurity personnel in the transit sector.
Our Research
Developing Cyber Talent for Canadian Road Authorities
Twitter Highlights
Open Government CAN
Explore @StatCan_eng's dataset for staffing actions Canadian 🇨🇦 businesses have taken during #COVID19: https://t.co/WNX9rXI2mv https://t.co/X74utK2bb8
Talk to Us 💬
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