Again on the topic of the PIPEDA review, the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) has released its written submission to the Parliamentary Committee on Ethics, Access to Information and Privacy. Not surprisingly, they are calling for some major changes:
We therefore propose a number of amendments designed to clarify rights and obligations, to close gaps, and to give the regime the "teeth" it is clearly lacking. Such amendments include:
- giving the Commissioner (or an associated Tribunal) order-making powers;
- reducing barriers to the enforcement of PIPEDA rights via Federal Court;
- permitting class actions under PIPEDA;
- providing for punitive as well as compensatory damages in court;
- mandatory naming of respondents in published Commissioner findings;
- mandatory Commissioner reporting on complaints;
- expanding the list of offences under PIPEDA;
- removing the "reasonable grounds" requirement for audits; and
- giving the Commissioner powers to share information with her counterparts.
While PIPEDA's redress and enforcement regime is most need of reform, some important substantive provisions of the Act suffer from lack of clarity, and others leave strange gaps. We have therefore proposed amendments to clarify and add provisions dealing with:
- the criteria for valid consent;
- data breach notification;
- reasonable limits on collection, use and disclosure;
- children's privacy;
- openness and individual access;
- attempted collection, use and disclosure;
- state surveillance; and
- the definition of "organization".
Update (20070118): For links to the full hearing transcripts, go to: Canadian Privacy Law Blog: PIPEDA Review Transcripts.