Government of Canada Responds to ETHI Committee Report on PIPEDA Review

The Government of Canada has responded to the February 2018 report by the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics (“ETHI” or “Committee”) on the review of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”). The ETHI’s report, entitled “Towards Privacy by Design,” discussed many topics and provided recommendations to ensure that PIPEDA be considered as being adequate to the European General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which came into force on May 25, 2018.

In its response letter, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (“ISED”), Navdeep Bains, generally stated that the Government of Canada shares the ETHI’s view that changes to the Canadian privacy regime are required. The government announced that because issues concerning privacy are complex and there is a need to ensure that Canada can fuel innovation while also fostering trust by Canadians, it will engage Canadians in a national conversation on data and digital issues. Among other topics, this conversation will explore how safeguards such as privacy protection must be in place for Canadians to trust, adopt and be included in the data economy.

More specifically, the government’s letter addresses several recommendations of the ETHI’s report divided under the four following themes, which we discuss below: consent under PIPEDA, online reputation, enforcement powers of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (“OPC”) and impact of the GDPR.

This content has been updated on May 2, 2024 at 16 h 25 min.