Consent is a key element of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), Canada’s federal private sector privacy law. Under PIPEDA, organizations are required to obtain meaningful consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. Consent is considered meaningful when individuals are provided with clear information explaining what organizations are doing with their information.
In May 2016, we launched a consultation on the issue of consent under PIPEDA. The goal of the consultation was to identify improvements to the current consent model and bring clearer definition to the roles and responsibilities of the various players who could implement them.
On September 21, 2017, we published our Report on Consent in our 2016-17 Annual Report to Parliament. The report outlines recommendations to address consent challenges posed by the digital age and indicates actions we will take.
Explore the links on this page to find information developed by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) about consent, particularly in the online environment, under PIPEDA.
Guidelines for obtaining meaningful consent
Practical and actionable guidance regarding what organizations should do to ensure that they obtain meaningful consent.
Guidance on inappropriate data practices: Interpretation and application of subsection 5(3)
Find examples of practices that the OPC generally considers inappropriate under PIPEDA.
Form of Consent
Read how the concept of “consent” in PIPEDA has been interpreted by the OPC and the courts.
Frequently Asked Questions for Online Consent
Find information for businesses on how to obtain consent when collecting, using or sharing personal information.
Discussion paper on potential enhancements to consent under PIPEDA
Read a discussion paper exploring potential enhancements to PIPEDA’s consent model.
Obtaining meaningful consent
This infographic helps businesses that are subject to PIPEDA understand their obligations for obtaining meaningful consent.
Be privacy proficient: Get meaningful consent
Video, businesses, meaningful consent
Playing your part in protecting privacy
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