Wiertz Sebastien - Privacy by Sebastien Wiertz (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/ahk6nh

Wiertz Sebastien - Privacy by Sebastien Wiertz (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/ahk6nh

Privacy

Press Conference: Meet the Co-Chairs by World Economic Forum (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/JqKwT9

The Foundation of Canada’s Digital Charter: Privacy Law Reform Focused on a Data-Driven Economy

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced plans last week for a new Canadian digital charter featuring penalties for social media companies that fail to combat online extremism. While the just-released proposed charter does indeed envision increased regulation of the tech sector, my Globe and Mail op-ed argues its foundation is not content-regulation but rather stronger rules on how companies use data. Leading the way is a promised overhaul of Canadian privacy law to ensure it is better suited to the challenges posed by a data-driven economy.

The proposed privacy law reforms seek to strike the balance between supporting an innovation-led economic agenda heavily reliant on access to data with mounting public concern over the use of that data without appropriate safeguards or consent. If enacted – the digital charter includes a detailed background paper on privacy law reforms that suggests legislative action will only come after the fall election – the changes would constitute the most significant privacy law amendments in decades.

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May 22, 2019 0 comments Columns
Facebook: The privacy saga continues by Ruth Suehle for opensource.com (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/4638981545/sizes/o/

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

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.

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May 13, 2019 3 comments Podcasts
Mark_Zuckerberg_F8_2018_Keynote, Anthony Quintano from Honolulu, HI, United States [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mark_Zuckerberg_F8_2018_Keynote_(41118883004).jpg

Does Canadian Privacy Law Matter if it Can’t be Enforced?

It has long been an article of faith among privacy watchers that Canada features better privacy protection than the United States. While the U.S. relies on binding enforcement of privacy policies alongside limited sector-specific rules for children and video rentals, Canada’s private sector privacy law (PIPEDA or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act), which applies broadly to all commercial activities, has received the European Union’s stamp of approval, and has a privacy commissioner charged with investigating complaints.

Despite its strength on paper, my Globe and Mail op-ed notes the Canadian approach emphasizes rules over enforcement, which runs the risk of leaving the public woefully unprotected. PIPEDA establishes requirements to obtain consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, but leaves the Privacy Commissioner of Canada with limited tools to actually enforce the law. In fact, the not-so-secret shortcoming of Canadian law is that the federal commissioner cannot order anyone to do much of anything. Instead, the office is limited to issuing non-binding findings and racing to the federal court if an organization refuses to comply with its recommendations.

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May 2, 2019 7 comments Columns
Privacy Blue by Richard Patterson http://www.comparitech.com/ https://flic.kr/p/25cUnjs (CC BY 2.0)

Rewriting Canadian Privacy Law: Commissioner Signals Major Change on Cross-Border Data Transfers

Faced with a decades-old private-sector privacy law that is no longer fit for the purpose in the digital age, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) has embarked on a dramatic reinterpretation of the law premised on incorporating new consent requirements. My Globe and Mail op-ed notes the strained interpretation arose last Tuesday when the OPC released a consultation paper signalling a major shift in its position on cross-border data transfers.

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April 16, 2019 6 comments Columns
moneygram-homepage-agent-locations by Monito Money Transfer Comparisons (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/RS2Jxu

Open Banking Is Already Here: My Appearance Before the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce

The Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce has spent the past month and a half actively engaged in a detailed study of the regulatory framework for open banking. The study has included government officials, representatives from Australia and the UK, and Canadian banking stakeholders. I appeared before the committee yesterday as a single person panel, spending a full hour discussing a wide range of policy concerns.  My core message was that the committee debate over whether Canada should have open banking missed the bigger issue that millions of Canadians already use open banking type services despite the friction in making their data easily portable to third party providers. I recommended several reforms in response, including stronger privacy laws, mandated data portability with informed consumer consent, and consumer protection safeguards that recognizing the likely blurring between incumbent banks and third party providers.

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April 12, 2019 5 comments News