January 18, 2021
Although Canadian laws have been slow to evolve, individual privacy rights have been an issue of importance and concern for many Canadian throughout history and into the present day. With an ever growing global economy in the digital age the transfer of personal information has undoubtedly become a form of currency with which we knowingly or unknowingly engage in, even the simplest da-to-day activities.
While various provinces, territories and municipalities have privacy legislations that are uniquely applicable to each of them, the Privacy Act (the “Act”) is a piece of federal legislation that came into force on July 1, 1983 and requires appropriate safeguards for the personal information that is gathered by the federal government. In his 2018-2019 report to Parliament, the Privacy Commissioner stated that “The rapid development of new technologies will require legislative amendments from time to time, meaning there should be periodic reviews of our privacy laws, potentially every five years or so, but the principles-based nature of the law should result in continued relevance without requiring constant revisions to keep pace.”
Accordingly, the Department of Justice Canada is holding an online public consultation until February 14, 2021 to obtain the views of Canadians on modernizing the Privacy Act. To learn more about the public consultation, visit Modernizing Canada’s Privacy Act – Public Consultation.
Canadians are invited to share their views on key issues, such as:
- the rules on when federal institutions can collect personal information
- how federal institutions can use the information entrusted to them
- when federal institutions can share personal information with other federal institutions
- how key concepts should be defined under the Act
- the oversight and enforcement framework under the Act
Feedback received during the consultation will be summarized and published in a report, which will be made available online.
*Philip Graham practices Employment Law, Litigation and Privacy and Compliance, subscribe to the Privacy Law blog here.
Privacy and Compliance