Keeping an eye on the ETHI website for updates used to be like watching paint dry. Not this week though — whoa!
First up was a report by the Parliamentary Committee on what they have found so far in their examination of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. It’s pretty detailed, and I was pleased to see politicians actually recommending that political parties' processing of personal information be regulated. A good step in the right direction. The report is only interim and it’s not clear if the government has to prepare a response, but it is one of the first times I can think of where actual politicians have publicly recognized that it is high time for privacy rules to apply to political parties.
And speaking of a government response to a Parliamentary Committee report, that too was tabled this week on the ETHI website. Of course, I’m speaking of the government response to the committee’s report tabled a few months ago that called for extensive reform of PIPEDA. The government response is, in my humble opinion, rather lackluster in its commitment to do anything meaningful, but it nonetheless seems to recognize that some things need modernizing.
The government response was tabled shortly after the same government announced it was going to take the summer (and probably some of the fall) to consult with Canadians on the development of a strategy that deals with the big data world we find ourselves in. And, on the heels of this announcement, one of the Liberal members of the ETHI committee tabled a bill that would significantly change how the Office of the Privacy Commissioner enforced PIPEDA. Order-making powers and the ability to levy administrative fines are just some of the concepts this lawmaker wants put into action now (I guess after being on the ETHI committee during the past few months, he got tired of waiting).
Lots to catch up on.
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