McCarthy Tétrault Event: Big Data Seminar – October 18th, 2017

The second part of McCarthy Tétraults Transformative Technologies Series explores the asset that underpins many of today’s transformative technologies: big data.

This seminar will provide an overview of some of the pressing legal questions businesses are facing as big data takes centre stage. Businesses are increasingly harnessing big data in ways that drive innovation and quality improvements across a range of industries.

With Canada’s federal privacy legislation currently under review and the Competition Bureau’s release on September 18, 2017 of its consultation paper “Competition Bureau – Big data and Innovation”, data is not only a driver of innovation, it can also present legal and regulatory challenges – both to businesses and regulators.

Topics to be covered during this session are:

  • Privacy: How can companies be sure consumer consent is valid for big data applications, those in use, and those that won’t be known until sometime in the future? Does aggregation solve privacy problems? Does de-identification? How can businesses fulfil transparency and accountability obligations to customers when dealing with big data? How does a business working with a third party provider, (e.g. cloud services or data analytics provider), demonstrate a “comparable level of protection”? With an evolving global privacy landscape, (the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in May 2018), what are the potential directions for Canada?
  • Competition: The growth of the digital economy means the rise of business models based on “Big Data”. The use of big data by companies for the development of products and services can generate substantial efficiency and productivity gains, (e.g. improving decision-making, refining consumer segmentation and targeting). However, the acquisition and use of Big Data can raise competition issues, including allegations of abuse of dominance and even criminal cartel activity. Competition and privacy issues associated with Big Data may appear to conflict, and are currently before the Federal Court of Appeal in the TREB case. Find out how competition laws impact – and are likely to impact in the future – companies’ Big Data activities.
  • Managing Data: To be useful, data must be processed. This means organizations must find data in their systems, (or from other sources), manage it appropriately, standardize it so it can be processed, refine it so it achieves the ends anticipated, monitor the outputs, and make decisions about what will and will not be shared and with whom. Organizations face challenges at each step along the way, and there are better, (and worse!), ways to approach them. Technical missteps can result in legal and regulatory issues.

Our speakers are :

  • Paul Johnson, T.D. MacDonald Chair in Industrial Economics from the Competition Bureau of Canada
  • Kirsten Thompson from McCarthy Tétrault 
  • Izabella Gabowicz, COO of Sensibill

We look forward to welcoming you!Interested in attending?  Please contact us at [email protected].


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

11:30 a.m. (EST) – Registration and Lunch
12:00 p.m. (EST) – 1:30 p.m. (EST) – Seminar

Toronto Office and Online

*Note: For those participants who cannot join us in person, we are offering this program via webinar. If you are interested in this alternative, please select the appropriate option during the online registration process. All instructions and information on how to access the webinar will be forwarded a few days before the event.

This program qualifies for up to 1.5 hours of eligible educational activity or CPD/MCE credit under the mandatory education regimes in British Columbia, Ontario and Québec.


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