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Canada is moving to update its national privacy law, with potential legislation coming before Parliament by the close of 2020.

At present in the private sector in Canada, federally regulated businesses, works and undertakings are subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”), including with respect to their collection, use and disclosure of employee personal information. If an organisation is found to be in breach of PIPEDA, they can be fined up to $100,000 for each violation.

In response to consultations across Canada and in recognition of the importance of Canada’s growing digital economy, the Government of Canada announced its Digital Charter, and launched its National Digital and Data consultations for amending PIPEDA.

The Digital Charter articulates a principled approach to digital and data transformation, setting out ten principles to guide amendments to PIPEDA tnat include:

  • Enhancing the control and transparency that individuals have over their personal information by requiring specific standardized plain language information on its use;
  • Providing data mobility opportunities to support greater individual control over data and promotion of consumer choice; and
  • Strengthening enforcement mechanisms, including enhanced penalties for non-compliance.

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