Clement’s 2010 Priorities: Privacy and Copyright

Canwest features an interview with Industry Minister Tony Clement in which he sets out priorities for 2010: modernizing Canadian privacy law and introducing a new copyright bill.


  1. Given the previous attempts at copyright law…
    The use of the phrase ‘modernizing Canadian privacy law’ by this government is somewhat scary.

  2. John Wunderlich says:

    “Modernized” Privacy Laws?!
    Since Minister Clement said that he wants to modernize the privacy laws in the context of the digital economy, what are the chances that it will become easier for companies to collect, use, and disclose personal information about their customers and web-site visitors without being ‘encumbered’ by requirments for consent or breach notification?

  3. “modern”
    “modern” as in. “Modern for the late 20th century?”

  4. privacy legislation
    Yeah this is pretty scary. Governments across Canada are increasingly using privacy legislation as a weapon to suppress practically everything already. This will be simply an arrogant move to deliver another blow to the concept of Freedom of Information. Naturally of course they will cloak their rhetoric for doing this under the pretense of ‘safeguarding’ Canadians.

  5. Privacy vs Freedom of Information
    There is a fundamental conflict between public expectations under the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act. For instance, let’s use the salaries of senior public servants. Can disclosing the salary be justified under section 8 of the Privacy Act?

    There is the catch-all section 8(2)(m)(i) “the public interest in disclosure clearly outweighs any invasion of privacy that could result from the disclosure”. However, we need to differentiate between the concept of the public interest and that the public may be interested in the information. The latter does not necessarily mean the former (look at the recent SCOC decision regarding libel and the press).

    Note that Access to Information Act also contains, in section 19, specific directions with respect to personal information covered by the Privacy Act (meaning that Access to Information does not override the Privacy Act).