On 16 June 2022 the Canadian federal government introduced Bill C-27, also known as the Digital Charter Implementation Act 2022. If passed, this package of laws will:

  • Implement Canada’s first artificial intelligence (AI) legislation, the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA).
  • Reform Canadian privacy law, replacing the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act with the Consumer Privacy Protection Act.
  • Establish a tribunal specific to privacy and data protection.

The AIDA establishes Canada-wide requirements for the design, development, use, and provision of AI systems. The AIDA may have extra-territorial application if components of global AI systems are used, developed, designed or managed in Canada. As outlined in our previous post, the European Union recently proposed an Artificial Intelligence Act, which also would have some extra-territorial application. Multi-national companies should develop a co-ordinated global compliance program.

The AIDA requirements are designed to protect Canadians from the harms and biased outputs AI systems are capable of generating. Significantly, the AIDA mandates impact assessments. If an AI system is assessed as “high-impact”, there are further requirements, including public disclosure. The AIDA authorises the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (the Minister) to order the production of records related to AI systems and to publish information about contraveners (in other words, naming and shaming).

Under the AIDA, certain conduct in relation to AI systems can result in administrative monetary penalties or even criminal offences. The AIDA regulates activities carried out in the course of international or inter-provincial trade and commerce and does not apply to government institutions. There is a separate directive in effect focused on the federal government’s use of AI in the context of automated decision-making systems.

Read the full update here.