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Bill C-27

Canada Introduces Landmark AI Legislation with Bill C-27

Bill C-27

On June 16, 2024, Canada introduced its first comprehensive legislation on artificial intelligence (AI), known as Bill C-27 or the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2022. This bill aims to regulate AI systems, ensuring they are developed and used responsibly. Let's break down what this new legislation entails and its implications for businesses and the public.

 

Key Features of Bill C-27:

1. AI and Data Act (AIDA): Bill C-27 includes the AI and Data Act (AIDA), which mandates that developers and operators of AI systems assess potential risks and develop mitigation plans to prevent harm or bias. It focuses on "high-impact" AI systems and requires transparency and accountability in their use.

2. Ministerial Oversight: The Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry is granted significant authority under AIDA. This includes the power to request information, conduct audits, and enforce measures to address any identified risks. The minister can also order the cessation of an AI system if it poses a serious risk of harm.

3. Penalties for Non-Compliance: Businesses that fail to comply with AIDA can face substantial fines. Offences such as using unlawfully obtained personal information or causing harm through AI systems can result in fines up to $25 million or 5% of global revenues for companies, and discretionary fines or imprisonment for individuals.

 

 

Implications for Businesses:

1. Compliance Requirements: Companies involved in the design, development, operation, or sale of AI systems must align their practices with the new regulations. This includes conducting thorough risk assessments, developing mitigation strategies, and ensuring transparency in AI system operations.

2. Global Impact: The extraterritorial nature of AIDA means that even international companies with AI components used in Canada must comply with the legislation. This aligns with global trends, as seen with similar regulations in the European Union’s AI Act.

3. Preparing for Implementation: Businesses should start developing compliance programs that address the new requirements. This includes setting up internal audit mechanisms, ensuring data privacy, and being prepared for potential ministerial audits or investigations.

 

 

Conclusion:

Bill C-27 represents a significant step forward in regulating AI in Canada, aiming to ensure that AI technologies are used safely and ethically. By fostering transparency and accountability, this legislation seeks to protect the public from potential harms associated with AI while promoting innovation and trust in AI systems.

 

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For more detailed information, refer to sources such as Norton Rose Fulbright and Canadian Lawyer.

 

 

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