As we head into the holiday season, privacy legislators are working double-time to pass stringent legislation with a goal of increased transparency and consumer control. Since September’s passing of Bill- 64, the new privacy legislation for la belle province, industry has been placed on high alert and is paying closer attention to all new requirements that will impact their business. Quebec’s new law is the most stringent we have seen in our country with even more complex requirements than the highest bar set out by Europe’s GDPR. Other provinces do not have the same requirements as Quebec and so, will all be deemed inadequate making our fear of interoperability a stark reality.
Quebec policy makers have made an already complex area of business much more onerous and expensive. Within two years’ time when the requirements become mandatory, companies will be required to name a privacy officer, create an internal privacy program, and comply to a whole new set of statutes which will require additional resources and dollars. The fines are big, and the stakes are high, and it is time for our industry to put our heads down to agree on viable solutions to compliance without creating tech debt (the need to iteratively re-build as new legislations come into play).
As a part of these efforts, IAB Canada is working with an assembly of cross-sector privacy professionals to develop helpful guidance with a goal to aid in compliance which will be shared with our membership once complete.
Meanwhile, rumours are swirling that Ontario has agreed to stall their reform until after the provincial election. While not confirmed by the Office, it is said that they are instead spending their time brainstorming with federal regulators to develop a more comprehensive Canada-wide privacy legislation which would replace existing PIPEDA once passed. This is music to our ears as we have repeatedly stated our opposition to province-by-province laws that would only add unnecessary complexity and onerous compliance requirements to the Canadian business landscape.
Not surprisingly, Commissioner Therrien announced last week at the annual Canadian Bar Association Access to Information and Privacy Law Symposium that his office will be launching a consultation with stakeholders as his office prepares for a period of transition that includes federal privacy law reform. The consultation will begin in March and will examine how the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) could enhance engagement with stakeholders on guidance and advisory work. It will also seek views on the procedural safeguards that should apply to the exercise of new order making powers. Therrien stated that “My office is committed to fairness and transparency in all of our processes, while we await the tabling of legislation, we believe it is valuable to hear from stakeholders at this early stage of the transition process.” IAB Canada will ensure that the voice of our industry is loud and clear and will turn to our privacy working group throughout the consultation as we have in our past submissions to both ISED and the OPC.
Regulations across multiple jurisdictions whether international or homegrown, call for a global privacy framework that can interoperate across all markets and as such, IAB Canada continues its important work with IAB Tech Lab to release v1 of a Canadian-friendly Transparency and Consent string, that will provide consent management platforms with access to required signalling and allow vendors to continue to pass bid requests in compliance with both provincial and federal requirements. If you are an IAB Canada member and would like to join the privacy conversation, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org