Digital Policy Salon: A Changing World of Work



Digital Policy Salon
Digital Policy Salon: A Changing World of Work
By ICTC-CTIC • Issue #31 • View online
Welcome to the 31st issue of the Digital Policy Salon briefing.
Recently, plenty of attention has been paid to ongoing developments in the world of gig and remote work. We delve in to this in a blog about an index of online labour, an overview of our paper on the future of work, and an interview with the CEO and founder of DriveHER.
Our policy updates this week look at government promises of high-speed internet, efforts to mandate Canadian content support, illicit facial recognition software use, and a less-discussed result of the US elections.
We also discuss internet freedom rankings, in our “what we’re reading” segment, and examine Canadian medical patents, in our research visualization. For both, COVID-19, as is too often the case these days, plays an important role.
Lastly, pencil some room in on your calendar for a panel on Canadian startups, IP, and scaling growth, moderated by our president and CEO, Namir Anani.
We hope that you enjoy this week’s issue!

Policy Updates 🇨🇦
COVID-19 intensifies need to provide high-speed internet access to all Canadians as new internet providers seek to enter the market
The federal government has promised to connect 98% of all Canadians to high-speed internet by 2026. The new target represents a 3% increase over the 2019 budget, which outlined plans to connect 95% of Canadians by that same year.
The existing Universal Broadband Fund will receive an additional $750 million in funding to help achieve this goal, bringing the fund’s new total to $1.75 billion.
Budget 2019 also included plans to “advance Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite capacity to serve the most rural and remote regions of Canada.” Last month, with an approval from the CRTC for a Basic Telecommunications Services licence, LEO satellite company SpaceX came a few steps closer to doing so.
Proposed amendments to the Broadcasting Act would require “online broadcasters” to contribute to Canadian content
The federal government introduced new amendments to the Broadcasting Act last week to ensure that “online broadcasters contribute to the creation, production, and distribution of Canadian stories.” The amendments, contained in Bill C-10, would target a collection of online streaming platforms such as Netflix, Spotify, and Crave.
Privacy investigation finds facial recognition software for customer analytics used without consent
A joint investigation by the federal, British Columbia, and Alberta Privacy Commissioners found that one of Canada’s largest shopping mall companies used facial recognition software for customer analytics without consent.
The decision highlighted the need to use personal information appropriately with new and emerging tech, particularly when biometric or other sensitive personal information is involved. It also clarified that ‘overly broad’ clauses ‘buried’ in the middle of privacy policies are not enough to support meaningful consent.
Amid US election headlines, California vote defines gig-economy workers as independent contractors, not employees
While the American presidential election has rightly garnered much attention, election results in California clarified the status of gig-economy workers operating in the state, defining them as independent contractors and not employees. The vote follows years of legal debates between law makers, gig-economy workers, and several prominent food delivery and ride share companies.
Going forward, gig-economy workers will maintain their status as “independent contractors” while receiving some additional benefits, including minimum pay rates, health-care subsidies, and insurance.
Our Perspective
Measuring the Unmeasurable: Online Labour in Canada
Loading: The Future of Work | Overview
Special Events
Join Us For a Virtual Panel Discussion
Interviews in the Field
COVID-19 and the Future of Transportation and the Gig Economy
Aisha Addo, Founder and CEO of DriveHER
Aisha Addo, Founder and CEO of DriveHER
What We're Reading
COVID-19 eroding global internet freedom, Canada among the most free, report says
What We're Listening To
Yann LeCun: Artificial Intelligence VS Cats
Research Visualized
A new blog post by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) looks at patents in three research areas related to COVID-19: therapeutics and vaccine development; rapid detection and diagnoses; and digital health. The research identifies 178 relevant Canadian patents filed by 85 Canadian institutions, most of which fall in the therapeutics and vaccine development category, followed by rapid detection and diagnosis.
For more reading on patents in Canada (though not health-specific ones), check out our report, Bolstering Growth – The Next Frontier for Canadian Startups.
Our Research
The Rebuild: Going Digital and the Role of Canadian Telecom in a Post-COVID Future
Twitter Highlights
Internet Society Canada
Join us Nov 12-13 for the 3rd Annual #DigitalAccessDay! This virtual event brings together thought leaders from NGOs, tech, gov, edu + more to talk about the #DigitalDivide—the work underway, what needs to be done, and how to measure progress.

Talk to Us 💬
Send your comments, questions, and tech policy insights to:
Subscribe to ICTC’s flagship newsletter here.
Did you enjoy this issue?

An ICTC email briefing that provides you with an in-depth look at the digital economy and the policies that shape it.

If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue
116 Lisgar Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, ON K2P 0C2