Saturday, September 28, 2013

Manitoba passes private sector privacy law

In the past few weeks, with little fanfare, the Manitoba legislature passed The Personal Information Protection and Identity Theft Prevention Act, which is expected to add Manitoba to the list of Canadian provinces with laws that are "substantially similar" to the federal PIPEDA.

This is a big deal -- being the first province since 2004 to do so -- and it'll be interesting to see whether other provinces follow suit.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Privacy law losing relevance, Commissioner says

Jennifer Stoddart, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, is continuing her pre-retirement campaign calling for reform of Canada's private and public sector privacy laws. On the private sector side, she is calling for the Commissioner to have order-making powers and the ability to levy fines against companies that break Canadian privacy laws. One illustration she uses is a comparison to Canada's competition laws:

To put the issue in perspective, Stoddart offered a recent case in which the competition bureau released its findings of an investigation into price fixing for chocolate products. In that case, the heads of several leaders in the candy industry, including Nestlé Canada Inc. and Mars Canada Inc., face penalties up to $10 million and/or five years in prison.

“We’re talking about chocolate bars,” Stoddart said. “This is for fixing the price of chocolate bars. How much more important is Canadians’ privacy? And yet there’s no real sanction for misusing it.”

Many countries with privacy laws similar to those in Canada are able to impose fines, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Holland, she said.

On the public sector side, she notes that the federal Privacy Act is over thirty years old and has hardly been reviewed, let alone revised, to ensure it is keeping up with the times.

For more, check out: Privacy law losing relevance, commissioner says |