On May 21, 2019, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains announced a new digital charter (Digital Charter) which, through its 10 principles, the federal government promises to “build a foundation of trust for Canadians in the digital sphere.” Also announced was an initial set of actions which serve to implement the Charter's principles including proposals to modernize the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

The Digital Charter sets out 10 basic principles for online data governance including: universal access; safety and security; control and consent; transparency, portability and interoperability; open and modern digital government; a level playing field; data and digital for good; strong democracy; free from hate and violent extremism; and strong enforcement and real accountability. The government’s stated goal is that the Digital Charter and its principles will apply to all federal legislation and regulation. However, PIPEDA, the federal Privacy Act, the Competition Act, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation and the Competition Act would all likely have to be updated in order to give effect to the Digital Charter.

Also announced as part of the federal government’s digital strategy was a set of proposals to reform PIPEDA. A discussion paper containing the government’s proposed changes suggests clarifications under PIPEDA including: what information individuals should receive when they provide consent; certain exceptions to consent; adding a right to data mobility; deletion and withdrawal of consent; incentives for certification, codes, standards, and data trusts; enhanced powers for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner; as well certain modernizations to the structure of the law itself and various definitions.

For more information, please see the Government of Canada website here.

Summary By: Jae Morris


19 05 29

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