There’s some news this week about how our federal political parties are doing privacy badly. If you recall, the Liberal government passed a bill earlier this year that they trumpeted as making political parties accountable when it comes to privacy. However, the bill was quickly criticized by pundits and the privacy commissioner.
Now that we’ve had a bit of time for the parties to deal with the legal obligations, we’re learning that they are doing the minimum to comply with the requirements. Practically, the only real requirement is that each party must post a privacy statement with a view of being transparent in regards to how they handle personal information. I’m not sure who each party consulted when drafting these statements, but I’d be embarrassed about the outcome if I were them!
First, as I mentioned, the obligation is really basic and nowhere near the standards we expect from other organizations that broker in our personal information. Second, when it comes to trying to meet these obligations, they took a page out of the 1999 manual on drafting privacy statements.
My vote this fall will largely depend on which party addresses Canada’s need to move forward with a digital strategy that recognizes the new world we live in. Step one is coming up with a modern version of a privacy statement for their own operations. Sadly, they’ve all failed so far. And it didn’t need to be this way. Will any of them turn their ship around and realize Canadians actually care about their privacy?
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