New privacy legislation is an important step forward for Canada

Today, Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains announced details of the government’s proposed legislation which will update Canada’s data and privacy laws.

Bains emphasized that the proposed law will give Canada the ability to levy the largest fines for data misuse of any G7 country. The proposed law will also create legal requirements for data portability, algorithmic transparency, and use of anonymized data. You can read more details about the legislation here.

Data affects nearly every Canadian business today, but it’s especially relevant to the innovative, domestic technology companies that are members of the Council of Canadian Innovators.

On behalf of more than 130 Canadian companies in the innovation economy, CCI executive director Benjamin Bergen issued the following statement:

“Today, data is the most valuable component of nearly every successful business in Canada, but without clear rules for the collection and use of data, privacy concerns associated with digital services will only continue to grow. To maintain public confidence and to get the most value out of powerful modern technologies, our country’s laws need to keep up with the 21st century economy. This is exactly why the Council of Canadian Innovators has spent years calling on the federal government to develop a national data strategy.

In recent years, the European Union, California and Quebec have all taken steps to advance their data protection laws, and it is good to see the federal government playing catch-up. Privacy protections and industry growth are not at odds, and clearer rules will give Canadian businesses confidence as they plan and grow.

However, the details of implementation will be important, and we expect government to work with technology companies to understand their compliance obligations and new standards established with this legislation. Moreover, with global standards changing constantly, it is important for the federal government to work closely with data-driven companies headquartered in Canada to make sure that we are leaders when it comes to setting regulations for protect fundamental personal privacy rights, while positioning Canada to be a stronger leader in the global innovation economy.”

We will continue to follow this file very closely.

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