Government releases Digital Charter, announces review of PIPEDA and more

Earlier this week, the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, the Hon. Navdeep Bains, released a Digital Charter for Canada and a white paper on PIPEDA. He indicated that the government will be reviewing the Competition Act in the context of data and privacy, and launching a new data governance centre to work with industry to develop standards on data mobility, transfer and more.

The Digital Charter is a non-binding, principles-based document providing guidance to industry on what they can expect from future legislation or action by the government. Minister Bains is looking at the issue from the lens of competitiveness and innovation. He wants Canada to be a data innovation leader while maintaining the trust of data subjects.

Here’s an overview of the Charters’ key principles:

  • Universal access of all Canadians to the data economy, including through connectivity and meaningful participation.
  • Transparency - Canadians should know what data is being collected and shared, and for what purposes.
  • Control - Canadians should be able to confirm and transfer their data (will explore data portability and mobility).
  • Canadians should have strong democratic institutions not subject to online attack.
  • Canadians should have a modern government delivering digital services.
  • Level playing field – Rules will be applied to large and small organizations fairly.
  • Canada to be a leader in data for good, including harnessing the potential of AI through its newly announced AI Advisory Council.
  • Clear penalties and fines for misconduct (% of revenue), while keeping in mind disproportionate burdens for smaller organizations.
  • Free from hate, including to ensure digital platforms do not magnify the online dissemination of hate.

CMA will provide more context on the white paper and related initiatives in the weeks ahead. We will be directly involved in the consultations. 

All CMA members can receive a copy of our bulletin issued earlier this week by contacting your Voting Corporate Member.


Author: Sara Clodman, Vice-President, Public Affairs and Thought Leadership, Canadian Marketing Association

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