Language selection


Notice of consultation on consent under PIPEDA


The period for contributing to this consultation has ended. Thank you to all who contributed.

Updated on July 27, 2016

In May 2015, following meetings with stakeholders and engaging Canadians in focus groups, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) released its strategic privacy priorities to guide its proactive work for the next five years. The consent model was identified as an issue under the Economics of Privacy strategic priority, where we said that we “will seek to identify enhancements to the consent model so that concerns raised both by individuals and organizations are addressed.

Toward that goal, in the short term, we are launching a dialogue on consent and privacy.  The first step was publishing a discussion paper. And now, we are looking to interested parties to help us take the next step, with an invitation to provide submissions on the viability of the consent model and proposing solutions to improve individual control over personal information in the commercial environment.

The purpose of asking for submissions is to assemble a collection of potential solutions and bring clearer definition to the roles and responsibilities of the various players that could implement them and develop an action plan on this issue. In the medium term, we will identify improvements, apply those within our jurisdiction and be prepared to recommend legislative changes as appropriate.

We are calling on individuals, organizations, other privacy enforcement authorities, academics, advocacy groups, information technologists, educators, students and other interested parties to join in this discussion by contributing their views on the viability of the consent model and proposing solutions to improve individual control over personal information in the commercial environment. While we welcome views on all consent-related topics, we are particularly interested in answers to questions we posed through the paper as well as the following:

  1. Of the solutions identified in this paper, which one(s) has/have the most merit and why?
  2. What solutions have we not identified that would be helpful in addressing consent challenges and why?
  3. What roles, responsibilities and authorities should the parties responsible for promoting the development and adoption of solutions have to produce the most effective system?
  4. What, if any, legislative changes are required?

In the fall of 2016, we will be inviting a variety of interested stakeholders to meet with us to discuss these issues.

Consultation Criteria and Procedures:

  1. You must send your response to by Friday, August 5, 2016.
  2. You must state that you have read and understood these consultation procedures.
  3. Your submission must answer one (or more) of the four questions posed in the consent paper.
  4. You should clearly indicate which actor(s) (for example, industry, regulators, government) your comments are meant to implicate.
  5. Your submission must include a one-page summary (700 words maximum).
  6. Your submission must be provided in an accessible format (for example, text-based file formats, such as MS Word, that allow text to be enlarged).
  7. If your organization is subject to the Official Languages Act, you must provide your submission (and the summary, if it has been provided) in both official languages.  
  8. If you provide a submission in your personal capacity that contains personal information other than your name and address (such as information related to a complaint), the submission will not be posted.
  9. You must indicate your name, contact information and category which best represents your perspective (e.g. individual, organization, academic, advocacy group, information technologist, educator, etc.)
  10. Any comments that violate Canadian law or violate our comment policy will not be posted and will either be deleted or dealt with in accordance with our legal authorities under the Privacy Act.

If your submission does not meet the criteria, OPC officials will advise you using the contact information you have provided. A confirmation email will be sent if your email address has been provided.

Please note that the OPC is not providing funding for any submissions related to this call for comment.

The OPC’s intention is to post the summary of each submission, and will endeavor to post the full submissions where possible. All submissions posted on the OPC web site will include a disclaimer stating that “the opinions expressed in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.”

Information provided to the OPC for the purposes of this call for submissions that is not subject to the Official Languages Act will be posted to the OPC web site in the language(s) in which you provide it. If you are submitting previously published works as part of your submission, please include appropriate web links.

Please indicate whether you are submitting comments on behalf of an organization or as an individual. If you are submitting on behalf of an organization, we will publish your name, position and the name of your organization in addition to the submission. If you provide a submission as an individual, we will identify you by name. Your personal information will be available on our website but not findable by search engines.

All of the information that you provide as part of this call for submissions becomes part of a publicly accessible file and may be posted on the OPC’s website. The personal information that you provide directly to the OPC is included in Personal Information Bank PSU 938 Outreach Activities. Please also see other the OPC’s Privacy Policy and other Important Notices and OPC’s comment policy for how we handle your information.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The Access to Information Act provides a public right of access to government records. The Privacy Act provides individuals with a right of access to their own personal information and protects that information from unauthorized disclosure.  Some of the information you provide to us in this process may be accessible under the Access to Information Act; this does not include personal information as defined in the Privacy Act.

The personal information you provide will be used and may be disclosed for the purpose for which the information was obtained or compiled by the OPC, or for a use consistent with that purpose.

If you have a question unrelated to this call for submissions, please use our Online Information Request form or contact our Information Centre. Submissions provided in response to this call will not be treated as privacy complaints under the Privacy Act or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. For further information on filing complaints under either Act, please see File a formal privacy complaint.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Melanie Millar-Chapman, who can be reached directly at, by telephone at 819-994-6008, or toll free at 1-800-282-1376.

Date modified: