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Canada Signals Overhaul of Data Privacy

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has signaled his intent to overhaul data privacy within Canada. Prime Minister Trudeau recently sent a Mandate Letter to Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, that contained a number of mandates with respect to data privacy.

Specifically, the Mandate Letter states that Minister Bains is expected to work with the Minister of Justice, Attorney General of Canada and the Minister of Canadian Heritage to advance Canada’s Digital Charter and enhance powers for the Privacy Commissioner, in order to establish a new set of online rights, including:

  • data portability;
  • the ability to withdraw, remove and erase basic personal data from a platform;
  • the knowledge of how personal data is being used, including with a national advertising registry, and the ability to withdraw consent for the sharing or sale of data;
  • the ability to review and challenge the amount of personal data that a company or government has collected;
  • proactive data security requirements;
  • the ability to be informed when personal data is breached with appropriate compensation; and,
  • the ability to be free from online discrimination including bias and harassment.

Additionally, the Mandate Letter calls for the creation of new regulations for large digital companies to better protect personal data and encourage greater competition in the digital marketplace. A newly created Data Commissioner would oversee those regulations. It is unclear whether Canada will pass new privacy legislation or implement regulations based on its existing law, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”).

Read our previous coverage of how the Centre for Information Policy Leadership at Hunton Andrews Kurth submitted comments to modernize PIPEDA.


Blog courtesy of Hunton Andrews Kurth, a U.S.-based law firm with a Global Privacy and Cybersecurity practice that’s known throughout the world for its deep experience, breadth of knowledge and outstanding client service. Read the company’s privacy blog here.

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