In this space, I have often commented on or wondered when our politicians were going to take notice and realize that privacy for Canadians is an important matter. I think maybe they are starting to jump on board.
This week, the ETHI committee in Parliament released a lengthy report on reforming PIPEDA. It’s so long, actually, that I have not yet read the whole thing. It covers myriad topics, like the right to be forgotten, order-making powers, levying fines and adequacy by European standards.
It’s a forward-thinking report with 19 recommendations. Among the recommendations is that PIPEDA be amended so that the OPC would have order-making powers — something that many privacy professionals and the commissioners themselves have said is due. And, to take another idea from Europe, Parliament has now recommended to the government that PIPEDA be amended so that organizations can be fined for noncompliance.
What do you think about their proposed changes? I’ve already heard from some of you, and privacy pros seem divided. Some think it’s about time, and others think the recommendations go too far. To this end, I’m taking an informal poll and asking you to write back to me to let me know what camp you’re in.
The Parliamentary committee heard from several dozen witnesses and received a hefty number of written submissions, too. There was an equal share of business representatives, as well as consumer or privacy advocates. I think it’s telling that the committee heard from such a wide range of interests and has now decided to make some pretty bold recommendations from a consumer protection standpoint.
Pursuant to Parliamentary powers, the committee has requested that the government now prepare a response. I’m anxiously awaiting that, too (but maybe not quite as much as for the Han Solo movie coming in May).
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