E-commerce, Algorithms, Big Data, Consumer Deception and Protection

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - 12:00 to 14:00


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Panel Discussion 12:00-2:00 pm
University of Windsor, Faculty of Law, Moot Court
Open to the Public 
See registration below


Followed by a workshop
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm (by invitation only)


E-commerce is becoming the norm for the vast majority of consumers. Goods and services can be advertised, ordered and delivered through powerful algorithms that standardize transactions while also personalizing the customer experience in unprecedented ways. The proposition is highly seductive as it provides increased efficiency, convenience, access to information, without neglecting improved bottom line for suppliers. Along the way, what are prevailing online business practices? (e.g., the collection and use of our personal data) How much do we know or should have the right to know about such practices? How are those business practices changing our relationship to products, suppliers, to standards of transparency, access to relevant information, fair practices, privacy, safety, and ultimately our identity? Are consumers more likely to be deceived? Are market forces robust enough to ensure fair and secure transactions or are consumers left to their own devices? How does the law of the state ensure that consumers are adequately protected? Should we do more? 


  • Niva Elkin-Koren, Founding Director of the Haifa Center for Law & Technology (HCLT), Co-Director of the Center for Cyber, Law, and Policy, Professor, University of Haifa, Faculty of Law. Will discuss the potential benefits and harm for consumers of digital assistants (or the “algorithmic consumers”). 
  • Vance Lockton – Strategic Policy and Research Analyst, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Will discuss the role of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada with respect to specific privacy issues arising in e-commerce. 
  • Lina Nikolova – Competition Law Officer, Competition Bureau Canada. Will discuss the role of the Competition Bureau of Canada to protect consumers against deceptive e-commerce practices. 
  • Marina Pavlovic, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. Will discuss various policy options on the regulation of e-commerce in the new digital AI era. 
  • Teresa Scassa, Canada Research Chair in Information Law, Professor, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. Will discuss the legal implications of the practice of scraping publicly accessible platform data by/from e-commerce platforms
  • Pascale Chapdelaine, Associate Professor, University of Windsor, Faculty of Law. Will chair the panel discussion and will discuss the implications for consumers of price discrimination as one example of an online business practice that may require more scrutiny.




(For Panel Discussion 12pm-2pm; light lunch will be served)