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Canada Dashboard Digest | Notes from the IAPP Canada Managing Director, June 19, 2015 Related reading: Takeaways from record COPPA settlement

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Some of my colleagues have already blogged, tweeted and Facebooked that Bill S-4 passed through Parliament, finally. This legislation amends PIPEDA in some pretty significant ways.

I’m not totally celebrating, though. Section 29 of PIPEDA states, “The administration of this Part shall, every five years after this Part comes into force, be reviewed by the committee of the House of Commons, or of both Houses of Parliament, that may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.”

That’s a LAW! I’m not sure about you, but I generally abide by laws. I file my taxes; I don’t shoplift or speed—well, I might go over the speed limit occasionally—and I believe most regular folks also follow the law.

So, why is it that Parliamentarians—the ones who pass those laws—can’t seem to follow their own? Every five years, PIPEDA is meant to be reviewed and updated. PIPEDA was passed in 2000. It’s 2015. Get my point?

I’m not celebrating our government’s inability to abide by the law. I just hope for better.

OK. Finished with the rant. In a nutshell, Bill S-4 amends PIPEDA and does a number of pretty neat things (that could’ve been done five or 10 years ago if the law was followed, by the way):

  • Mandatory breach notification (but note that these provisions aren’t in force yet because regulations need to be passed);
  • Business contact information is better defined, as is when you’re permitted to use it without consent;
  •  No more “investigative bodies” to which you can disclose without consent. Instead, you can disclose to any organization so long as it’s part of investigating or detecting fraud (I’m paraphrasing a bit just to give you a flavour).

There are a number of other significant changes that I don’t have the space to discuss here. Hopefully you have the time to do some research of your own so that you’re up-to-speed with the provisions that most affect what you do on a day-to-day basis. Is there anything particularly striking in the amendments that catches your curiosity? I’d love to hear from you if there is—but don’t feel the need to point out how late Parliament was in their review of a very important law. I’ve got that ground covered.

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