Canada government proposes significant privacy measures in new bill
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Canada government proposes significant privacy measures in new bill

Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Navdeep Bains, introduced a new bill in the Canadian House of Commons Tuesday that will bring about significant privacy reforms to comply with Canada’s Digital Charter, such as increased personal control over digital information and stricter fines.

The bill, entitled the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2020, comes after Bains announced the Canada Digital Charter in 2019. The charter was originally released in response to increasing data breach claims and consists of 10 principles that include transparency, portability, and interoperability, control and consent, and strong enforcement and real accountability. The Digital Charter Implementation Act 2020 aims to support and enact these 10 principles into law.

Some measures in the bill include:

  • Making consent valid only if the supposed organization gives the information in plain language
  • Giving individuals greater control by allowing them to transfer their personal information among institutions as well as request that their personal information be disposed of
  • Establishing fines of up to $25,000 or 5% of the organization’s revenue for breach of these new reforms.

The bill also intends to establish the Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal to deal with relevant appeals and penalties.

In a press release introducing the new bill, Bains stated:

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation which is changing how Canadians work, access information, access services, and connect with their loved ones. This transformation is making concerns about privacy, and how companies handle Canadians’ data, more important than ever. As Canadians increasingly rely on technology we need a system where they know how their data is used and where they have control over how it is handled. For Canada to succeed, and for our companies to be able to innovate in this new reality, we need a system founded on trust with clear rules and enforcement. This legislation represents an important step towards achieving this goal.

If passed, the bill will enact the Consumer Privacy Protection Act and the Personal Information and Data Tribunal Act.