In the mid-1990s, Quebec was well ahead of the rest the country. By looking at what was going on in Europe, they drafted a pretty good first-generation private sector privacy law. The federal government followed suit and, in the year 2000, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act came into force.
History has a way of repeating itself. In 2018, the European Union modernized its data protection law. And, with this European influence, Quebec has once again taken the lead in Canada and introduced a more modern version of their private sector privacy law.
My colleague, Constantine Karbaliotis, has written a short article which we summarize below. I encourage you to read it.
I think history will repeat itself yet again, with the federal government following suit. Pre-pandemic, this looked like a slam dunk about to happen this year. The virus may have delayed the agenda, but I’m quite certain the rest of the country is just going to sit back and watch Quebec modernize while the rest of us struggle with a dated system. After all, Quebec appears to have been the province most widely affected by the pandemic and they still see it as a priority to modernize their law.
With all this as the backdrop, the federal government announced yesterday it was leading the way with a contact tracing app. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had to address the privacy issues associated with the technology, so it makes me think — or hope — that if privacy is a concern and priority, maybe the feds will get rolling on making sure our legislative landscape is up to the task. If we follow our privacy history, it will eventually!
Stay safe everyone.
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