Notice of Consultation and Call for Comments on Draft Consent Guidance Documents


The period for sending us your feedback on these documents has ended. Thank you to all who contributed.

In May 2015, 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.”

We initiated a dialogue on consent and privacy with a discussion paper and held meetings and focus groups with a variety of stakeholders across Canada to discuss solutions to improve individual control over personal information in the commercial environment, with a view to bringing clearer definition to the roles and responsibilities of the various players that could implement them.

On September 21, 2017, my Office released its Report on Consent. Related to this, we are now releasing for consideration two draft pieces of guidance. One of the documents amends guidance issued jointly with Alberta and British Columbia OIPCs. We have had discussions with our provincial colleagues and will continue to work with them. In the meantime, we are inviting feedback on these draft pieces of guidance before finalizing them:

Participating in the consultation: Criteria and Deadline

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and other interested parties to join in this discussion by contributing their views on the recommendations in these draft guidance documents.

Please send your feedback in accordance with our procedures and criteria by December 4, 2017.

We are particularly interested in answers to the following questions:

  1. Is the guidance clear?
  2. Is the guidance useful to your organization, in terms of guiding behavior, or to you as an individual in exercising your rights?
  3. Of the solutions identified in this guidance, have we struck an appropriate balance between individuals’ right to privacy and companies’ legitimate need for personal information? Why or why not?
  4. Are there gaps that have not been identified in the guidance that require further direction from the OPC?

Additional questions for organizations:

  1. Are there any areas of the proposed guidance that your organization would have serious difficulty implementing? If so, please explain why and whether this can be mitigated.
  2. How long will it take for your organization to implement the guidance recommendations into your policies and practices?

Feedback Criteria and Procedures:

  1. Please send your response to by December 4, 2017.
  2. Your feedback may be sent in the form of an email, Word or pdf document.
  3. Please indicate your name, contact information and category which best represents your perspective (e.g. individual, organization, academic, advocacy group, information technologist, educator, etc.)
  4. Any comments that violate Canadian law or violate our comment policy will not be considered within scope of this call for feedback and will either be deleted or dealt with in accordance with our legal authorities under the Privacy Act.

A confirmation email will be sent if your email address has been provided in accordance with the terms above.

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

Your feedback will not be posted on the OPC website; however an overall summary of comments may be posted on the OPC’s website. If you post your feedback online, please advise us and provide us with a link. If you are submitting previously published works as part of your feedback, please include appropriate references and links.

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.

If you choose to participate in this consultation, the personal information that you provide directly to the OPC is included in Personal Information Bank PSU 938 Outreach Activities. Please also see the OPC’s Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions, and comment policy for how we handle your information. 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 feedback, please use our Online Information Request form or contact our Information Centre. Feedback will not be treated as a privacy complaint 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.

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