Malaphor: Digital Health Law in Canada

health + tech in law = mixing chalk + cheese

Class Actions for Misrepresentations of Privacy Practices

Since the reports of the large fines that have been issued under GDPR have started making the rounds in the last couple of years, I have seen an increase in concern about being compliant with privacy laws here in Canada. In particular, a couple of questions that I sometimes get asked are “What could happen if our company is not compliant with PIPEDA? Will the Privacy Commissioner come after us with huge fines?” It’s usually a surprise to the asker when I say that, relative to its European counterparts, the Privacy Commissioner has little power in privacy enforcement.

Privacy enforcement by class action
Privacy enforcement by class action
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Social Media Surveillance for Censorship

If you are familiar with the popular platform WeChat, then you’d know that there are differences in the app depending on whether you registered your account with a phone number from China or elsewhere. It was previously known that, due to Chinese censorship regulations, WeChat content was subject to surveillance and moderation. But it was thought that surveillance and content moderation applied only to China-registered accounts.

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UN Special Rapporteur makes health-data protection recommendations

In 2015, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations appointed its first Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy, Professor Joseph Cannataci. Under his mandate, Prof. Cannataci produced this Recommendation for health-data protection (the “Recommendation”), along with an Explanatory Memorandum (the “Memo”). (See also this page for other related documents.)

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It’s my health data!

In my last post, I wrote about some issues surrounding health data and data sets in the context of AI. Since then, I saw a couple of interesting items with respect to health data “ownership” that I wanted to share.

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Personalized medicine in the age of Big Data

Intuitively, medical treatment that is tailored to our individual physical needs makes sense. For example, the best treatment for me for a particular condition may not be the best for you.

This is the goal of personalized medicine. The scope of personalized medicine can be fuzzy, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states:

Precision medicine, sometimes called personalized medicine, is an approach for protecting health and treating disease that takes into account a person’s genes, behaviors, and environment. Interventions are tailored to individuals or groups, rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach in which everyone receives the same care.

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