Empowering political parties to better protect Canadians’ privacy

Backgrounder

On April 30, 2018, the Government of Canada introduced C-76, Elections Modernization Act.

Political parties play a unique role within Canadian democracy, educating and mobilizing the electorate. Historically, political parties have relied on information provided to them by voters, and by Elections Canada, when communicating with Canadians about issues, events, and engagement opportunities. C-76, if passed, will ensure political parties are doing their part to protect Canadians’ personal information, resulting in greater transparency about the ways political parties collect, secure and use data.

If passed, C-76 will require that political parties have a publicly available, easily understandable policy for the protection of personal information containing the following:

  • a statement outlining how, and what information is collected;
  • a statement on how the party will protect personal information;
  • a statement informing Canadians on how the party will use personal information and under what circumstances personal information may be sold;
  • a statement on employee training regarding the collection and use of personal information;
  • a statement on the collection and use of personal information from online activity and the party’s use of cookies on its website; and
  • the name and contact information of a designated person to whom privacy concerns can be addressed.

C-76 will also require political parties to submit their privacy policy as part of their application for registration with Elections Canada and will have to maintain it to keep their registered status. They will also have to make it publicly available on their website.

For the complete set of amendments and details, please refer to the legislation text.


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