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Canada: Privacy Commissioner issues statement on privacy law reform bill

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Daniel Therrien, issued, on 19 November 2020, a statement on Bill C-11 for the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2020 which would reform Canada's private sector privacy legislation. In particular, Therrien welcomed the bill, highlighting the importance of its transparency and meaningful consent rules, as well as the order-making powers to be granted to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner ('OPC'). However, Therrien also noted that penalties would fall under the responsibility of a new tribunal, which would also be an appeal body for the OPC's decisions. In addition, Therrien highlighted the need to balance between individuals' right to privacy and the use of personal information for organisations' economic activities, outlining that although the government has stated its refusal to adopt a rights-based approach, the OPC believes 'it would be normal and fair for commercial activities to be permitted within a rights framework, rather than placing rights and commercial interests on the same footing.'

You can read the press release here.