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PIAC Criticizes Industry Canada’s Privacy Comments

On January 15, 2008, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) criticized Industry Canada’s comments regarding a report on the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) conducted by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information and Ethics. Issues commented on by PIAC include data breach notification, children’s privacy, public safety consent, and enforcement.

PIAC argued that the current voluntary data breach notification requirements are not serving the public interest because companies are allowed to decide whether the scope of a data breach warrants notifying the public—an argument PIAC has been making since 2003. PIAC argued that organizations should be required to notify you via telephone or letter when a security breach results in the loss or theft of your private information. PIAC recommended that heavy fines be implemented for companies failing to notify you.

PIAC argued children’s privacy is not protected under PIPEDA because the Act lacks specific requirements. In order to improve the Act, PIAC recommends that the collecting and selling of children’s personal information to third parties (known as “secondary targeted marketing”) should be made illegal. Further recommendations for PIPEDA regarding children’s privacy are included in the submission to Industry Canada.

PIAC argued that s. 7 of PIPEDA is constitutionally suspect because it allows companies to gather information without a warrant for the purpose of national security. PIAC agreed with the House of Commons Committee, which stated that part of s. 7 of PIPEDA should be removed. PIAC also argued that other public safety exemptions in PIPEDA should be examined to ensure that the Act cannot be used to avoid a warrant requirement or otherwise circumvent the law on constitutional search and seizures.

Finally, PIAC argued that Canada’s Privacy Commissioner requires more authority in order to better enforce privacy laws. PIAC recommends that PIPEDA be amended to allow the Privacy Commissioner of Canada the ability to fine offending companies.

To read the entire comments, please follow this link:

 

 

thumb_pdfPIAC Criticizes Industry Canada’s Privacy Comments
Download File: piac_submission_to_ic.pdf [size: 0.1 mb]

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