Ottawa Moves To Strengthen Privacy Laws

The Liberal government in Ottawa has moved to strengthen the country’s privacy laws and protect Canadians’ personal information.

New legislation introduced in Parliament gives Canadians more control over their personal information and imposes the stiffest corporate fines of any country among the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations.

Called the “Consumer Privacy Protection Act,” the new legislation includes penalties of $25 million, or 5% of global revenue, on companies foreign or domestic that violate Canada’s privacy rules.

The new law will also enable Canadians to move their information from one company to another securely and request that data about them be permanently deleted. It also limits the collection and usage of information related to Canadian minors (people under age 18) and gives the country’s privacy commissioner the power to order a company to stop collecting data or using peoples’ personal information.

The legislation is part of Ottawa’s “Digital Charter Implementation Act.” It is being introduced following calls from business groups to reform Canada’s privacy laws and align them more closely with those of the European Union (EU).

Earlier this year, Tim Hortons was revealed to have violated privacy laws by collecting sensitive location data from people who downloaded the restaurant chain’s mobile app.

The Liberal government is also proposing to create a new court to enforce Canada’s privacy laws, as well as the “Artificial Intelligence and Data Act” to establish a new artificial intelligence and data commissioner who will ensure that current and future technologies are used in a responsible manner.