Table ronde: “New or Normal: Privacy, Public Health & the Pandemic”


Activité à distance.

La pandémie à la COVID-19 change-t-elle ce à quoi nous pouvons et devons nous attendre en termes de vie privée? Les règles et politiques actuelles en matière de protection de vie privée au Canada fournissent-elles des outils utiles pour les stratégies de santé publique ou, au contraire, nos solides protections de la vie privée entravent-elles le travail des autorités de santé publique?

Joignez-vous au Groupe de recherche en santé et en droit de McGill (RGHL) pour un panel interdisciplinaire sur la vie privée, la santé publique et la pandémie, avec la Dre Anne Andermann, le professeur Ignacio Cofone et le professeur Khaled El Emam, qui discuteront de l'intersection de la crise pandémique et de la vie privée. Le panel sera présidé par la professeure Lara Khoury.

Cette activité est admissible à titre de formation juridique continue. Une attestation de participation sera remise sur demande aux membres du Barreau du Québec et de la Chambre des notaires.


[En anglais seulement] Does the COVID-19 pandemic change what we can and should expect in terms of our privacy? Do current privacy rules and policies in Canada provide useful tools to reinforce public health strategies or, on the contrary, do solid privacy protections hinder the work of public health authorities?

These questions – which bring focus on the sometimes-difficult reconciliation between public health protection and the protection of civil rights – have arisen for instance in relation to contact-tracing apps, proof of medical condition as a basis for exemptions to public health orders, and the differential privacy implications of pandemic responses for those who are most vulnerable – the poor, front-line workers, people of colour, and the elderly.

During this presentation, panelists from fields of law, public health and engineering technology will consider questions around privacy and public health arising in the context of the current pandemic.

Dr. El Emam, coming from the field of engineering, will approach questions of privacy from the point of view of data sharing and technology. As a privacy law expert, Professor Cofone will discuss the implications of COVID-19 in Canada’s current privacy rights regime. Finally, with her background in public health, Dr. Anne Andermann, MD, will evaluate the numerous intersections of privacy and public health measures.

Le panel

[En anglais seulement] Dr. Anne Andermann is a family doctor, public health physician and Associate Professor at McGill University, with over 15 years of experience working as a public health specialist and advisor. She is a member of the Canadian Homeless Health Research Network (HHRN), the Social Accountability Working Group of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), and the National Advisory Council on Poverty (NACP) reporting to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. Dr. Andermann’s research focuses on how frontline health workers can better care for underserved populations and create structural change to promote equity. Her book Evidence for Health: From Patient Choice to Global Policy is available from Cambridge University Press. She is currently working on responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on supporting underserved and marginalized populations.

Professor Ignacio Cofone researches teaches Privacy Law, Business Associations, and Artificial Intelligence Law at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. His works explores how the law should adapt to technological and social change, with a focus on privacy and algorithmic decision-making. In his latest projects, he proposes how to evaluate harm in privacy class actions and how to prevent algorithmic discrimination.

A senior scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Dr. Khaled El Emam directs the multi-disciplinary Electronic Health Information Laboratory. He conducts research on privacy enhancing technologies to enable the sharing of health data for secondary purposes, including de-identification methods and synthetic data generation. He is also a Professor in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa. As an entrepreneur, Khaled founded or co-founded six companies involved with data management and data analytics. Prior to his academic roles, he was a Senior Research Officer at the National Research Council of Canada. He also served as the head of the Quantitative Methods Group at the Fraunhofer Institute in Kaiserslautern, Germany. 

Contact [at] if you have any questions.

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