Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada Releases Annual Report
The OPC released its annual report last week. In Commissioner Therrien’s opening remarks he stresses the need for federal privacy laws that are better suited to protecting Canadians in the digital age. He also adds that the COVID-19 pandemic makes the significant gaps in our legislative framework all the more striking.
The position of the OPC is that privacy is a fundamental human right (the freedom to live and develop free from surveillance) and is also a precondition for exercising other human rights, such as equal rights in an age when machines and algorithms make decisions about us, and democratic rights when technologies can thwart democratic processes.
Worried about falling behind on privacy standards internationally, the Office believes that we should be looking to what has worked, and has not worked here and in other jurisdictions, when amending PIPEDA.
The bottom line is that the goal of the OPC is to restore trust, protect rights and to work with government, industry and stakeholders to develop a law that is practical and protects the privacy rights of Canadians and that now is the time for change.
IAB Canada members agree and support a revised PIPEDA that further protects the rights and privacy of Canadian citizens. We also encourage a legislation that allows our industry to work toward modernizing our digital capabilities bringing Canada to the forefront of global digital innovation and economic growth.
To read the full annual report please click here.
Pushing to Increase Adoption of the COVID Alert App
OPC and Health Canada invite IAB Canada and other Industry Bodies to Discussions
This afternoon, IAB Canada and other members of the business community have been invited to meet with representatives from both Health Canada and the OPC to discuss the capabilities of the COVID Alert app. We will be discussing privacy-by-design efforts in its creation as well as some trade-offs that were made in order impact its effectiveness. The discussion will wrap up with upcoming campaign efforts to promote the app and how we, as an industry, may be able to help.
The COVID alert app acts as an important example of innovation through data and technology and clearly showcases the fine balance between innovation and privacy in our industry.
Ontario Privacy Legislation Discussions Continue
Just last week, IAB Canada participated in a roundtable discussion led by the Government of Ontario to discuss potential amendments to provincial privacy legislation. IAB Canada reiterated the key messages that were included in our recent submission and were pleased to hear government representatives agree about the need for interoperability between PIPEDA and provincial law as well as the preservation of some flexibility in order to prevent undue burden on SMEs – all while promoting innovation.
TCF Canada Continues to be Viewed as Viable Compliance Framework
From an IAB Canada perspective, we have seen a lot of alignment with the messages coming out of the OPC and the provincial government conversations. Firstly, in that the TCF framework adaptation for Canada is being drafted with citizen rights as the foundation and secondly, from an international perspective, IAB Canada is contributing heavily towards architecting a scalable, global framework that will enable nuances within local markets but address common denominators required across global jurisdictions.
IAB Canada presented the TCF policy document to the Tech Lab’s Global Privacy technical working group. Currently several technical proposals are being developed and we expect to see presentations in the coming weeks. Once the technical specifications are agreed upon, within the working group, the policy and the technical framework will be shared with the broader membership. We will also be holding a period of public commentary before entering the testing and implementation phase of the initiative.
If you have any questions regarding any of our privacy efforts please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org