Schools out for Summer – Unless you Work in Privacy

As summer begins to heat up, so are the conversations around Canadian privacy legislation.

In Commissioner Daniel Therrien’s 30-page response to ISED’s proposed Bill C-11, he made it clear that he does not like what he sees and believes the Bill does not go far enough to protect the privacy of Canadians and instead, leans in the favour of business. 

Following the response, ISI called upon a cross-interest group which includes multiple associations and other industry stakeholders, including IAB Canada, to gather perspectives on Therrien’s criticisms specifically regarding the cry for a rights-based approach to privacy protection, the request for increased time for the tribunal process, as well as the proposal from the OPC which would allow them to bill back businesses and/or associations who apply for codes of practice/certification approval. These are just a few of Therrien’s demands, but the ones that will certainly sting industry the most. This first of many meetings with ISI officials was more than productive and we look forward to working together along with the IAB Canada privacy committee, to build a reasoned response to the OPC’s demands.  

All this back and forth does not bode well for progress in the Senate and there is fear that the Bill could die on the floor as an election appears to be in the works for this fall. With a Liberal win, C-11 could re-emerge close to what we see today, but if they are not victorious it could come back into parliament with significant amendments making it a serious concern for the business community. We would rather see CPPA progress (with amendments) than the alternative.

Meanwhile, the individual provinces are getting antsy and moving their own privacy agendas forward. Discussion over Quebec’s proposed legislation, Bill 64,  has been underway for months and is getting closer to being passed. The review process will restart when the National Assembly reconvenes after a summer break, and it is reasonable to expect that this extremely stringent legislation which includes many GDPR-like privacy obligations will be passed before the end of 2021. BC is also in the process of reforming their own privacy requirements and Ontario has made it clear with their latest consultation that they are not in the mood to wait for a federal response. This province-by-province overhaul is not good for anyone and is beginning to look a lot like our neighbour to the South with a real promise of a lack of regulatory harmonization. 

Locally, we have made great progress with the upcoming launch of the Transparency Consent Framework in Canada. We are also working very closely with our colleagues at IAB Europe as we prepare to launch this signal-based approach to compliance based on existing PIPEDA. The Canadian framework is top of the agenda at the IAB Tech Lab’s Global Privacy Platform working group, and they have begun developing the technical specifications for a Canadian string which we expect to have in market for testing this fall. We also continue our discussions with the DAAC group as it is our vision and hope that the TCF and the AdChoices programs can be interoperable and provide Canadian businesses and consumers with the best example of enhanced transparency and consent control possible.

IAB Canada will be calling on our privacy community in the coming weeks to help us respond to both federal and provincial developments. We will also be co-hosting alongside IAB US, a cross-jurisdictional privacy conversation with leading counsel and privacy experts from across North America in late July. We will provide registration access as soon as it is available and encourage you all to attend. 

Reach out to if you would like to join our privacy working group.