In a press conference earlier this week, the prime minister announced that a new law had been proposed relating to data, privacy and Canadians’ personal information.
Canada’s proposed privacy law, introduced as the “Digital Charter Implementation Act,” aims to help people to have a better understanding of how their information is used.
It also intends to hold big companies more accountable when it comes to how they use Canadians’ data.
In fact, Canada is prepared to issue the biggest fines among all of the G7 countries, including Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States!
According to the federal government, the proposal is an “initial step toward a comprehensive reform of Canada’s privacy framework.”
We’re helping you protect your privacy online. To do that, we’ve proposed a new Digital Charter Implementation Act… https://t.co/lrhUGGawT2— Justin Trudeau (@Justin Trudeau)1605644266.0
What is the proposed new law?
The proposed law was first introduced on November 17 by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains.
Referred to as the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2020 the federal government says it “modernizes the framework for the protection of personal information in the private sector.”
What this would mean, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is Canadians would have more control over how their data is used.
Additionally, companies would be required to be more transparent about exactly how they use people's information.
If the public isn’t happy with the way their data is being used, they’d also be given the right to securely move it.
Or, have it completely destroyed altogether.
What would it mean for Canadians?
According to the federal government, they’re proposing this new law to ensure Canadians’ personal details are “safe and secure” online.
Additionally, they want to create a framework that will make sure our privacy is respected.
For example, the public will be given the freedom and opportunity to move their information between organizations in a “secure manner.”
Companies will also have to be clearer about what they’re doing with our data, which means we’ll have more freedom to decide what we’re comfortable with.
If the new law is passed, Canadians would also be given the right to have all their information totally destroyed.
To be productive, competitive, and innovative, we know that Canada must harness the power of the data and digital e… https://t.co/LEJ1uLUm9B— Navdeep Bains (@Navdeep Bains)1605629023.0
What would it mean for companies?
Under the new law, companies would be required to be a lot more open and honest about how they’re collecting and using the public’s information.
They’d have to obtain consent through easy to understand language, rather than super-long and technical-sounding documents.
The proposal also suggests that the Privacy Commissioner of Canada should be given the power to force organizations to comply with the new rules, as well as the power to order a company to stop collecting certain information.
The fines for businesses who flout the rules would be the strongest of all the G7 countries, with maximum penalties of $25 million or 5% of their revenue (whichever is higher.)
This bill is yet to be passed, however, so what happens next remains to be seen!
*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.