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News release

Commissioner’s annual report highlights privacy challenges raised by digital technologies

GATINEAU, QC, September 29, 2022 – The Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s annual report to Parliament tabled today highlights a number of public and private sector investigations and advisory initiatives that demonstrate the importance of building privacy into new products or initiatives from the very start.

“Our enforcement activities have demonstrated the importance for organizations to have mechanisms in place that identify and address privacy issues early and on an ongoing basis, particularly when introducing new technologies involving the collection of personal information,” says Commissioner Philippe Dufresne.

“This was certainly true in the case of the Tim Hortons mobile app that tracked and recorded the location of users every few minutes of every day, as well as in the case of a trucking company that deployed continuous audio and video surveillance of its drivers.”

In his message, Commissioner Dufresne welcomed the tabling in June of Bill C-27, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, as an important step towards modernizing federal privacy laws, in part to address some of the risks posed by digital technologies.

He also laid out his vision of privacy which recognizes:

  • Privacy as a fundamental right;
  • Privacy in support of the public interest and Canada’s innovation and competitiveness; and
  • Privacy as an accelerator of Canadians’ trust in their institutions and a driver in their participation and contribution towards a robust digital economy.

“Canadians want to be able to fully participate as active and informed digital citizens without having to choose between this participation and their fundamental right to privacy,” he says.

“We should be able to benefit from the public interest and economic advances brought by new technology with the reassurance that our laws and institutions are there to appropriately safeguard our personal information and protect our privacy rights.”

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