Transborder Privacy Updates: Positive Developments in Canada – California, not so much

News this week from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner Canada (OPC) marks a big win for industry. Following a lengthy consultation on transfers of personal information for processing, the OPC  announced  that its guidelines for processing personal data across borders will remain unchanged under the current law. This is great news for IAB Canada members as these changes to legislation would have certainly impeded economic growth and have proved detrimental to both businesses and consumers in Canada.

IAB Canada’s submission was one of 87 received by the Office, all raising concerns with the position that consent may be required for transfers for processing.

The OPC stated that they will now focus their efforts on how a reformed privacy law can best protect Canadians’ privacy rights when their information is transferred between organizations. Their longer-term goal remains to ensure effective privacy protection in the context of transfers for processing, accepting that transborder data flows are the subject of international trade agreements, and that both domestic and international transfers bring significant benefits to individuals and organizations. To become involved in our upcoming ISED submission in response to the ISED consultation paper “Strengthening Privacy for the Digital Age”  please contact

Meanwhile, south of the border in California, a new bill (AB 1202) has been introduced requiring new “data brokers” (defined as anyone knowingly collecting and selling third parties, the personal information of a consumer with whom the business does not have a direct relationship with) to register with the state attorney general which further complicates the industry’s ability to operate and innovate.

IAB, along with other advertising associations have submitted a joint letter to Gavin Newsom, Governor of California urging him to veto the bill as it creates another set of crippling unintended consequences to the industry that casts a much wider net beyond traditional data brokers. For example, Publishers conducting routine activities like “trying to reach new customers, detect against fraud, or measure their marketing campaigns” will be implicated. IAB Canada will continue to keep our members informed on progress against this latest advancement.