Daniel Therrien, the Privacy Commissioner in Canada, is in the courts battling Google over a right to de-index. He’s calling for order making after Facebook declined to abide by his recommendations. And he’s embarked on a dramatic re-interpretation of the law premised on incorporating new consent requirements into cross-border data transfers. David Fraser, one of Canada’s leading privacy experts, joins the podcast to provide an update on the recent Canadian privacy law developments and their implications.
Post Tagged with: "right to be forgotten"
The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 11: Reinterpreting Canadian Privacy Law – David Fraser On Cross-Border Data Transfers, the Right to De-Index, and the Facebook Investigation
Last week, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada filed a reference with the federal court in a case that was billed as settling the “right to be forgotten” issue. Yet a careful read of the application reveals that the case isn’t about the right to be forgotten. Rather, it involves a far more basic issue: is Google’s search engine service subject to PIPEDA, Canada’s private sector privacy law? The case arises due to a right-to-be-forgotten complaint (a complainant wants search results referencing news articles they say are outdated, inaccurate, and disclose sensitive information removed from the Google search index), but the court is not being asked whether the current law includes a right-to-be-forgotten. Instead, the very application of Canadian privacy law to Google search is at stake.
The Canadian Journalism Foundation and CIPPIC partnered on a terrific event yesterday on privacy and freedom of expression in the digital age. The event, held at the Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto, focused on the right to be forgotten. It included conversations with Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien, Google’s Peter Fleischer, and a debate between David Fraser and Keith Rose. I was featured on the final panel in a conversation with the Globe and Mail’s Susan Krashinsky Robertson. The discussion, embedded below, focused on a wide range of privacy issues, including the need to update PIPEDA, pressure from the EU to improve Canada’s privacy law, how to foster meaningful consent, and the right to be forgotten.
Why the Canadian Privacy Commissioner’s Proposed Right to be Forgotten Creates More Problems Than it Solves
The right to be forgotten, which opens the door to public requests for the removal of search results that are “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant”, has been among the world’s most controversial privacy issues since it was first established in Europe in 2014. My Globe and Mail op-ed notes that the new right responds to concerns with potential reputational harms from inaccurate or misleading information online, but faces the challenge of balancing privacy protections with the benefits of the Internet for access to information and freedom of expression.
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada waded into the debate on Friday with a new draft report concluding that Canadian privacy law can be interpreted to include a right to de-index search results with respect to a person’s name that are inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated. The report, which arises from a 2016 consultation on online reputation, sets the stage for potential de-indexing requests in Canada and complaints to the Privacy Commissioner should search engines refuse to comply.