The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed how Canadians live, work, access information and connect with each other, making digital technology more important than ever. The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that Canadians can interact in this digital space trusting that their personal information is safe and secure and that their privacy is respected.
Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, introduced the proposed Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2020, which modernizes the framework for the protection of personal information in the private sector.
This legislation takes a number of important steps to ensure that Canadians will be protected by a modern and responsive law and that innovative businesses will benefit from clear rules, even as technology continues to evolve, including:
- increasing control and transparency when Canadians’ personal information is handled by companies;
- giving Canadians the freedom to move their information from one organization to another in a secure manner;
- ensuring that Canadians have the ability to demand that their information be destroyed;
- providing the Privacy Commissioner with broad order-making powers, including the ability to force an organization to comply and the ability to order a company to stop collecting data or using personal information; and
- ensuring the strongest fines among G7 privacy laws—with fines of up to 5% of revenue or $25 million, whichever is greater, for the most serious offences.
The proposed Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2020 builds a foundation of trust and transparency between citizens, companies and government, while ensuring that innovators and businesses benefit from a modernized framework with clear rules.
The proposed act is an initial step toward a comprehensive reform of Canada’s privacy framework. The Government of Canada is also proposing to modernize the Privacy Act, which applies to the federal public sector and which the Privacy Commissioner of Canada also oversees.