Alex Cameron, Partner and Leader of the Privacy and Information Protection Group, Fasken Martineau, completed both his LLM (with concentration in Law and Technology) and LLD at University of Ottawa.
While at uOttawa, he was a Researcher for the “On the Identity Trail Project,” an intern at the Electronic Privacy Information Centre, and one of the earliest students at CIPPIC.
A father of three (with his third born just a couple of weeks before his doctoral defence!), he is married to another uOttawa law grad. He love surfing, paddleboarding, playing hockey, and is a former downhill mountain bike racer and trained rescue diver.
Could you tell us about your current job? What types of files / projects do you work on? What’s a typical day like?
I am currently a Partner and Leader of the Privacy and Information Protection Group at Fasken Martineau. I practice almost exclusively in the field of privacy and information protection. My work ranges from advisory and compliance work in this space (e.g. helping organizations to launch new innovations, products and services in a manner that is compliant with privacy laws), to employment related issues, to data breaches and cybersecurity mandates, to defending regulatory and litigation proceedings in relation to privacy matters.
What do you really like about your position?
With privacy law, I am working in what I believe is one of the most exciting and rapidly evolving areas of law. The subject matter is extremely interesting and intellectually engaging for me, including because it involves complex problem solving and creative solutions, and because it requires consideration of evolving social norms and expectations. With many of the projects we work on with clients, we are at the forefront of where organizational needs and innovations are dependent on the use of personal information. There is often little or no legal precedent in this area, which requires that a unique approach be taken to these issues.
What are the challenges?
Technology and innovation are rapidly evolving and often have important privacy implications. Providing advice to clients in this area where (as noted above) there is usually little or no legal precedent can be both exciting and challenging. Effective communication and collaboration with information technology experts in particular can sometimes present challenges as business people and lawyers seek to understand the operation and implications of new technologies. It requires careful and constant learning.
What did you study at University of Ottawa Law & Technology?
LLM in Law and Technology, and LLD. Dr. Ian Kerr was my supervisor. My studies were focused on privacy and intellectual property, and, more specifically, my doctoral dissertation articulated a concept of “intellectual privacy” and argued that it had an important role in relation to copyright law.
Could you share some memories from your time studying Law & Technology at University of Ottawa?
Working on the On the Identity Trail project (including presentations in Paris and Chicago), serving as counsel for CIPPIC in BMG Canada Inc v Doe, living in Washington DC for my internship with EPIC, meeting policy makers, and making appearances before committees of the Senate and House of Commons were among the more enjoyable aspects of my time. Above all, however, my fondest memories are of all the incredibly brilliant people - the faculty, fellow students, and multidisciplinary researchers - with whom I had the good fortune to work with during my time at UOttawa. They are truly world class.
How did your studies in Law & Technology at University of Ottawa help you get to where you are now?
I have always felt very privileged to have studied in the Law and Technology Program at UOttawa, and it has unquestionably helped me to get to where I am now. In one of the first client meetings I attended at my firm following graduation, it was mentioned that I had obtained my doctorate at UOttawa and the client responded by saying how thrilled they were that I would be able to bring my “vision” to the project. This comment is reflective of the fact that many of the legal dimensions of privacy issues are not clear cut or subject to established precedent, but instead require a broader view about what steps should be taken or not taken in a given context. My studies, which obviously touched on a wide array of materials and perspectives in relation to privacy, including from many disciplines outside of law, prepared me well for many of the novel and exciting matters that I have worked on in practice.