Have your say: New federal consultations affecting biometrics and generative AI

Nov 13, 2023
ai data

Two important federal consultations are underway, and marketers leveraging biometrics and generative AI should take note.

Marketers looking to inform the CMA’s response to these consultations are encouraged to contact us with feedback by the deadlines outlined below.

New guidance from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner on processing biometrics

Canada’s privacy regulator is consulting until January 12 on new draft guidance for organizations processing biometric data. The guidance outlines privacy obligations, considerations, and best practices for handling biometric information, and applies in the context of all private sector marketing activities.

Because biometric data can be an enabler of surveillance and if breached, could expose individuals to fraud and identity theft, privacy best practices are critically important.

When handled in a privacy preserving manner, biometrics can help marketers reach and serve consumers in the personalized and unique ways they expect – including to help show consumers ads at the perfect moments, and to help understand the most and least successful moments of an ad.

The OPC is suggesting guidance for processing biometric data in the following areas:

  • Identifying an Appropriate Purpose
  • Consent
  • Limiting Collection
  • Limiting Use, Disclosure, and Retention
  • Safeguards
  • Accuracy
  • Accountability
  • Openness

In the OPC’s draft guidance, any collection, use, or disclosure of biometrics would require express consent. Given the broad definition of biometric data, this could include data that may not necessarily be unique to an individual or used with the intention to identify them (such as the use of keystroke patterns to support marketing-related R&D).

Marketers looking to inform our response are encouraged to contact us with feedback on the draft guidance by December 1. Individual feedback can also be submitted through the public survey available here.

Consultation on the copyright implications of generative AI

Following a 2021 consultation on a “Modern Copyright Framework for AI and the Internet of Things”, the federal government has launched a new consultation (closing December 4). The consultation aims to gather Canadians’ thoughts on AI tools and their implications for copyright holders to give consent and receive credit and compensation for the use of their works. Feedback will contribute to copyright policy development.

Marketers have experienced the transformative potential of generative AI firsthand, including to support content generation. As with the publication of any other creative content, issues of copyright and ownership rights apply to generative AI.

Government is looking for feedback on the following key topics:

  • The use of copyright-protected works in the training of AI systems.
  • Authorship and ownership rights related to AI-generated content.

Liability, especially when AI-generated content could infringe existing copyright-protected works.

Marketers are encouraged to contact us with feedback by November 24. Individual feedback can also be submitted through the public survey available here.

Fiona Wilson | Director, Public Policy and Chief Privacy Officer | CMA
Marlize Van Sittert | Public Policy Specialist | CMA




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