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News release

Privacy Commissioner discusses proposals to advance privacy law reform and better address children’s privacy, risks of AI

Ottawa, September 28, 2023 – Privacy Commissioner Philippe Dufresne appeared before Parliamentarians today to discuss Bill C-27, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2022, and proposals to modernize Canada’s federal private sector privacy law.

Speaking before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Innovation and Technology (INDU), Commissioner Dufresne called the government’s proposed new private sector privacy law an improvement over both the existing law, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), as well as an earlier version of the reform bill which died on the Order Paper when the last election was called.

“The Bill addresses a number of concerns that were previously raised by my Office and others. For example, it requires that information used to obtain consent be in understandable language; it provides my Office with order-making powers; and it includes an expanded list of contraventions to which administrative monetary penalties may apply in cases of violations,” Commissioner Dufresne told Committee members.

The Commissioner’s submission to the Committee on Bill C-27 sets out 15 key recommendations. This includes a recommendation to strengthen the preamble and purpose clause of the Bill to explicitly recognize privacy as a fundamental right, as well as the need to protect children’s privacy and the best interests of the child, so that these important principles inform the interpretation of all aspects of the legislation. He also called for organizations to be required to conduct Privacy Impact Assessments to ensure that privacy risks are identified and mitigated for high-risk activities including where artificial intelligence (AI) is used to make impactful decisions about individuals and where other technologies could adversely impact privacy.

These recommendations support the Commissioner’s three strategic priorities for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC): addressing privacy impacts of the fast-moving pace of technological advancement, especially in the world of AI and generative AI; protecting children’s privacy; and maximizing the OPC’s impact in fully and effectively promoting and protecting the fundamental right to privacy.

Related documents

Submission of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada on Bill C-27, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2022

OPC’s 15 key recommendations on Bill C-27

For more information

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

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