Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Urges Data Protection Law Updates

    Oct 11, 2016

    In its annual report to Parliament, Canada Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien called for updates to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which covers personal information held by the private sector, and the Privacy Act, which covers personal information held by the federal government, to address the challenges of new technologies.

    “A key theme of this report is the constant and accelerating pace of technological change and its profound impact on privacy protection,” Therrien states in his introductory message. “In both the public and private sectors, it’s clear that we need to update the tools available to protect Canadians’ personal information. Not doing so, in my view, risks eroding the trust and confidence citizens have in federal institutions and in the digital economy.”

    The report calls for updates to PIPEDA and the Privacy Act to address the right to be forgotten, the Internet of things and overall privacy compliance. It urges updates to address online consent because the proliferation of new technologies and business models is creating confusion about the consumer’s rights regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of their personal information.

    To address the threats to privacy resulting from the over-collection of information by the government due to the shift from paper-based to digital format records, the report recommends requiring an ongoing Parliamentary review of the Privacy Act every five years.

     This monthly advisory contains brief summaries of recent legislative and regulatory issues that may affect the management of records and information in Canada.

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