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Statement from the Interim Privacy Commissioner of Canada regarding Bill S-4, the Digital Privacy Act

OTTAWA, April 8, 2014 – Interim Privacy Commissioner of Canada Chantal Bernier today issued the following statement regarding her preliminary comments on Bill S-4, the Digital Privacy Act:

We received a copy of the bill today and we will be conducting a thorough analysis. At first glance, however, there are some very positive developments for the privacy rights of Canadians in relation to private sector companies.

In particular, I welcome proposals with respect to mandatory breach notification, new penalties, and provisions that will make it easier for my Office to ensure that companies carry through on commitments they have made during investigations.

For some time now, we have been calling for the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) to be updated to better protect Canadians’ privacy and ensure consumer trust in the digital economy.

I am pleased that the government has heard our concerns and has addressed issues such as breach notification, enforceable agreements with companies, enhanced powers and stronger compliance incentives. I am also pleased that we will have greater discretion to publicly share more information with Canadians about our investigations.

We are now studying the bill and look forward to sharing more detailed comments with Parliamentarians at the appropriate time.