CCI Response to Federal Privacy Legislation
Today in Ottawa, Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne and Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti announced the federal government’s plans for updating Canada’s privacy legislation.
In response, Nick Schiavo, CCI’s Director of Federal Affairs, issued the following statement on behalf of our members:
“Canadian economic growth depends on success in the digital economy where privacy and innovation are not at odds. Canadian companies want to compete on the strength of their innovations not by undermining privacy of consumers.
“But in a complex and dynamic technological environment, regulation must be thoughtful, flexible and wary of unintended consequences. That cannot happen without ongoing collaboration and dialogue.
“When the government introduced the last version of privacy legislation, like the federal privacy commissioner, data governance experts and civil society groups, CCI had concerns about the government’s direction. We had hoped to present those concerns when the bill was studied at committee, but the bill died in parliament before ever arriving at committee.
“Following the election, we had hoped to engage with Minister Champagne directly about how the government can modernize Canadian privacy laws in a way that strengthens citizens’ rights and makes for a more healthy digital environment, while also providing Canadian innovators the certainty to grow and prosper within a clear legislative framework.
We will need time to study the new privacy bill when it is made publicly available, but based on the process thus far, we are concerned that the government is not engaging robustly with Canadian companies that work in the digital realm. We hope innovative Canadian technology companies will be invited to discuss the bill with MPs as parliament debates the issue and make necessary amendments.