CIPPIC Files Intervention in health data case, BC v Philip Morris

- 2017-12-21 -

CIPPIC has filed its intervention factum in Her Majesty the Queen in Right of British Columbia v. Philip Morris International, Inc., SCC No. 37524. The case presents the Supreme Court with a conflict of values: do the privacy interests of third parties bar a defendant to an action from accessing large health datasets in order to challenge the results of the plaintiff’s analysis of that data?

CIPPIC argues that this conflict between privacy and transparency will be mediate by the dual protections of anonymization procedures, implemented in accordance with guidelines familiar to the health industry, and flexible judicial safeguards embedded in disclosure orders.

The case raises important issues about the right to challenge the outcomes of analytics performed on large data sets. As we increase our reliance on big data and algorithmic decision-making technologies, privacy and accountability will be increasingly at issue.