It’s Raining Regulation – An IAB Canada Policy Update

Privacy Continues to Heat Up

Privacy professionals are gathering from all corners of our country for the annual IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium in Toronto. This year’s conference will undoubtedly focus on the status of the federal Bill C-27 (which is heading to committee in June) and Quebec’s Law 25 which has multiple provisions coming into effect this September and there is definitely a lot to talk about. 

Things kicked off yesterday with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s (OPC) annual session where Privacy Commissioner Dufresne held a closed-door discussion fresh off of the heels of his office’s response to Bill C27. Reiterating his belief that privacy is a fundamental human right and remaining committed to his requested amendments, he expressed optimism in the eventual passing of the bill and the future state of privacy in Canada. 

Meanwhile in Quebec, the Commission d’accès à l’information du Quebec (CAI) announced a consultation on the collection of consent for personal data use as outlined in Law 25. The CAI has asked for industry input (deadline is June 25th) and have stated that comments coming out of this process will be used to support potential guidance and produce tools to help with the understanding of consent under this new law. While we welcome new guidance, we fear this reflection will slow the momentum that is required to get ready for this more prescriptive regime and encourage industry to keep focused on the work that lies ahead. We will be responding to the consultation and will consult with our privacy working group as we prepare our submission. We also continue our efforts to update the TCF Canada (our technical compliance framework for publishers, vendors, agencies, advertisers and digital marketers to ensure they are working under appropriate legal purposes for processing personal data in the Canadian market) to reflect these new legislative requirements. 

Marketing to Kids Legislation Gets New Life 

Health Canada released their latest proposed policy update which would amend the Food and Drug Act as a part of their Healthy Eating Strategy and commitment to protecting children’s health.  Outlining new restrictions on food advertising primarily directed at children on television and digital media these new restrictions could be implemented under existing regulatory authorities under the Food and Drugs Act, or new authorities if Bill C-252 (a Private Member’s bill with similar legislative requirements) receives Royal Assent.  

These amendments demonstrate a more targeted approach focusing on television and digital media first – leaving out the highly contentious areas of sponsorship and packaging that were contained in the original proposal and will restrict foods that are above sodium/sugar/fat thresholds and advertisements primarily directed at children for certain foods within television and digital media where children spend much of their time and are highly exposed to food advertising. To determine whether an advertisement is primarily directed at children, the context of the advertisement’s presentation will be assessed as will the nature and intended purpose of the medium where the ad is communicated and whether the advertisement targets, or is reasonably expected to appeal particularly to, children. 

Health Canada is seeking industry feedback. to their proposal by June 12th and we will be engaging our Marketing to Kids working group throughout the process to highlight any concerns or areas that need further clarification. 

iGaming – Quebec is Following Ontario’s Lead 

Earlier this week online gaming operators banded together and formally launched the Québec Online Gaming Coalition (QOGC), an industry-led organization committed to actively working with the Québec government and local stakeholders to develop a new regulatory framework for the online gaming industry. The Coalition’s goal is to address growing concerns about consumer safety, responsible gaming, advertising, and substantially increasing government revenues based on a new licensing regime for qualified private operators and to establish an independent regulatory body in Quebec – not unlike what we now have in Ontario. This independent regulatory body will establish standardized controls on responsible gaming to protect vulnerable and underage players – providing a safe and responsible gaming experience for Quebecers. Quebec is the first province to follow Ontario’s lead and it appears that other regions are watching closely. We will keep a watchful eye on these developments and discussing any news with our IAB Canada iGaming community. 

If you are an IAB Canada member and would like to join any of our policy discussions, please reach out to