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Follow-up letter to the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications on Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act

On March 22, 2018, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Daniel Therrien, sent the following letter to the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications to provide his views for the Committee's study of Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act. It provides further clarification for a letter he submitted to the Committee on February 16, 2018. Both letters follow-up on his January 31, 2018 appearance before the Committee on the same issue.

March 22, 2018

The Honourable David Tkachuk, Chair
Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications
The Senate of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A4

Dear Mr. Chair:

I would like to thank the Committee again for their work to date on Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act. In our appearance and follow-up submission to the Committee, we elaborated on four overall areas of concern: regarding the PIPEDA exemption under s.17.91(4), the jurisdiction of my Office to investigate complaints, the right of access by employees to their personal information, and clarifying the language of s.17.95(d) concerning the scope of the regulation-making authority.

Transport Canada has since offered assurances about the content of the regulations, and made several important commitments to proactively engage my Office in the development of the regulations to ensure that our concerns are addressed. These were detailed in Minister Garneau’s letter of March 9, 2018, of which you received a copy. We have considered what Transport Canada has proposed, and believe it represents a constructive way forward.

While we accept and are encouraged by Transport Canada’s efforts to address some of our concerns within the forthcoming regulations, I would simply like to express that we maintain our position in principle on the issues we raised in our submission. Most notably as it relates to our position on the desirability of the carve-out from four key elements of PIPEDA, which is uncommon and broader than the few existing exceptions. On that point, I will reiterate our preference that in future, any necessary exceptions to PIPEDA principles be defined in PIPEDA or at the very least referred to therein.

Thank you once again for the opportunity to clarify my views and I hope these comments are helpful to your ensuing discussion of this Bill.

Sincerely,

(Original signed by)

Daniel Therrien
Commissioner

c.c.:
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport
Mr. Victor Senna, Clerk, Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications
Ms. Kathleen Fox, Chair, Transportation Safety Board

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