Parting Words from OPC & the Countdown to Quebec Privacy Laws

Just last week the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Daniel Therrien released what could be his final op-ed as he inches closer to the end of his term. Referencing everything from 9/11 to Snowden, he tells the familiar tale calling out tech giants as a powerful force that “seem to know more about us than we do about ourselves”. Going as far as to point the finger at both public and private sectors saying they “often use personal information for purposes other than those for which they collected it”, he makes it crystal clear that the battle between innovation and consumer rights is still the front and centre for his office. A problem that continues to vex the online advertising sector and its ability to innovate. 

That said, Therrien does share our belief that “it is more urgent than ever to adopt laws fit for the 21st century” and that those companies who seek to use new data-driven technologies, must do so in a privacy first way. We also found solace in his downgraded declaration for privacy as a “human right” to a “fundamental right” but being the privacy disrupter that he is, Therrien still holds strong that he needs the ability to enforce with world-leading monetary penalties as well as the freedom to conduct “proactive audits” without sufficient reason or notice. These are elements of a proposed regime that IAB Canada has expressed concern with to both the OPC and ISED from the get-go.   

It does appear that some of Therrien’s dreams do appear to be coming true, at least for now, in the province of Quebec. With Bill-64, amending the province’s existing privacy regime, we see a higher bar being set with new requirements impacting several key areas that will be rolled out in phased stages starting in September 2022. To simplify what businesses will need to do we have created an infographic that is designed to hone your focus and help prioritize efforts. While this is merely a snapshot of the detailed legislation, we will be following this up in the weeks to come with detailed guidance that has been developed for industry by industry to help navigate this new reality.

IAB Canada continues to work diligently on the privacy file and is working hard to build solutions to help our members to understand, manage and comply with cross-jurisdictional legislation. If you would like to become a part of our Privacy Working Group, please reach out to