Yesterday I appeared before the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology to discuss Bill S-4, the Digital Privacy Act. The discussion focused on a wide range of concerns, including the shortcomings in the security breach disclosure rules and the need for greater enforcement powers for the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Metro News covered the appearance. My opening remarks are posted below. I’ll link to the full transcript once available.
Last night I appeared before the Senate Transport and Communications Committee, which is conducting hearings on Bill S-4, the Digital Privacy Act. I have posted on the bill’s shocking expansion of warrantless voluntary disclosure, by pointing to a provision that would permit disclosure to any organization, not just law enforcement. This appearance provided the opportunity to discuss a broader range of issues, including positive elements in the bill (clarification of consent, expansion of the Commissioner publicly disclosing information, and a longer time period to bring a case to the federal court), the areas in need of improvement (security breach disclosure standards, voluntary warrantless disclosure, compliance agreements), and the glaring omission of stronger reporting requirements.
The surprise of the night came at the end, when the chair indicated that the committee did not plan to hear from any further witnesses. The bill will therefore move to clause-by-clause review next week.
Appearance before the Senate Transport and Communications Committee, June 4, 2014
Earlier today, I appeared before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights to discuss my concerns with Bill C-13, the lawful access/cyberbullying bill. My opening statement focused exclusively on privacy, pointing to problems with immunity for voluntary disclosure, the low threshold for transmission data warrants, and the absence of reporting and disclosure requirements. I’ll post a link to the transcript once available. In the meantime, I’ve posted my opening statement below.
Appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, May 29, 2014
I appeared yesterday before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology for a hearing on Bill C-8, the anti-counterfeiting bill that has been placed on the legislative fast-track by the government. The panel also featured representatives from the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, the Canadian Standards Association, and the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada. The hearing was cut short by a vote in the House of Commons, but there was still an opportunity for a ten minute opening presentation and to address a few questions from the committee members. My prepared remarks are posted below. Given time constraints and the comments of the other panel members, there were some adjustments (I omitted the first section on the scope of counterfeiting and noted that fellow panel members proposed the precise amendments I was discussing).