Transparency Reporting by Private Sector Companies

Transparency reports from private sector organizations can provide Canadians with timely and accurate statistical information about how often and in what circumstances businesses provide customer information to law enforcement and security agencies.

Such reports allow consumers to make informed choices and help support public discussion about privacy issues.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) has been calling for greater transparency for many years – recommending that organizations be required to make public statistical information related to information requests from government authorities. The OPC’s goal is to promote consistent and comparable practices around transparency reporting.

While legal obligations and/or regulations could impose such a requirement, a positive interim step would be an agreed-upon voluntary reporting regime. 

We are pleased that Industry Canada has developed Transparency Reporting Guidelines for businesses to report on the number and types of requests they receive from government agencies to access customer information. The OPC has also developed a comparative analysis of transparency reports voluntarily published by some private sector companies over the last two years. 

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