2015-2016 Annual Report to Parliament on the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Privacy Act

Today the Privacy Commissioner’s latest Annual Report was tabled, in Parliament. The 2015-16 report describes the work of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) as it relates to both the Privacy Act, which applies to the federal public sector, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), the federal private sector privacy law. The Report discusses the need for modernization in the face of rapid technological change. Both public sector and private sector laws predate many of the technological innovations that are creating new challenges for privacy protection by enabling businesses and governments to collect and analyze exponentially greater quantities of information.

On the public sector front, the Annual Report refers to the fact that the OPC provided, last March, to the Parliamentary committee studying the Privacy Act, a submission on modernizing the legislation that included 16 recommendations covering the following themes: responding to technological change; legislative modernization; and the need for transparency.

On the private sector front, the Annual Report raises many private sector challenges which must be addressed. This includes the notion of consent, since many are questioning how Canadians can meaningfully exercise their right to consent to the collection, use and disclosure of their personal information in an increasingly complex environment. The OPC has recently launched a public consultation aimed at identifying possible solutions to address growing challenges related to consent (to view my submission on consent, click here). The Report also discusses the OPC’s second consultation process which is examining privacy issues related to online reputation (to view my submission on the right to be forgotten, click here). The ultimate goal of this consultation is to help create an environment where individuals can use the Internet to explore their interests and develop without fear their digital trace will lead to unfair treatment.




This content has been updated on September 28, 2016 at 21 h 24 min.