Avoiding Privacy Patchwork & Tracking Elections Ads

Canada’s proposed privacy legislation, Bill C-11’s life was cut short with the call of the federal election. While the feds may have pushed pause on upgrading PIPEDA, the provinces continue to press for major amendments to their privacy legislation. Most recently, the province of Ontario released their 40-page whitepaper entitled “Modernizing Privacy in Ontario”. This paper focuses on 6 key subject areas and echoes many of the changes that were included in C-11 such as: 

  • a rights-based approach to privacy 
  • the safe use of automated decision making and AI 
  • enhanced consent and lawful uses of personal data 

While IAB Canada and its members agree that we can do a better job at protecting our citizens, we also believe that a provincial patchwork approach to privacy legislation can and should be avoided at all costs. Privacy legislation should first be amended at the federal level to avoid unnecessary burden to business and confusion for Canadians. As such, IAB Canada was one of 13 associations that signed a letter penned by the Ontario and Canadian Chamber of Commerce expressing this sentiment. This week, we also made our position very clear in our formal response to the Ontario government’s white paper that you can find here. Thanks to our privacy working group for their feedback and engagement on this initiative. 

On the global privacy front, we continue to work hard with local IABs and the IAB Tech Lab in our efforts to develop a technology-neutral method for delivering meaningful consent in the form of the Global Privacy Project.  This one-of-a-kind, proven privacy framework will ensure that consumers are able to make choices online that are technically executed while providing the supply chain with an accountability stream that includes a record of consent status. Canadian privacy laws is the first market on this group’s agenda and you can find a comprehensive overview of the work being done here. 

While C-11 died with the call of the election, it appears that marketing to kids’ legislation could make its way back to the top of the pile. Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberal party released their updated platform yesterday and included was the promise to “Introduce new restrictions on the commercial marketing of food and beverages to children and establish new front-of-package labelling to promote healthy food choices”. While actions speak louder than campaign platforms, this is something IAB Canada will continue to keep a close eye on as we get closer to election day.  

Finally, an update on Elections compliance work being done at IAB Canada. Following platform issues is of utmost importance as Bill C-76 and its political ad registry requirement for the IAB Canada publisher community. Publishers need to capture ads which during an election, are considered political and issue ads continue to throw confusion into the marketing mixer. These ads that can easily go unidentified in a fast-paced election and therefore, not make it into the registry which puts publishers at risk for non-compliance and the receipt of hefty fines. Many of our affected members are currently subscribed to our issue tracker database that was developed in partnership with the Canadian Press and is updated every 24 hours to help outline the most up-to-date issues as they make their way onto a platform.  To find out more about this tool and to see which publishers are and are not currently accepting political ads, visit our elections resource section. 

For more information on any of IAB Canada’s policy efforts or to get involved please reach out to policy@Iabcanada.com