Government of Canada launches public consultation on the Privacy Act
November 16, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada and Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Canadians’ expectations of privacy have changed and evolved since the federal Privacy Act became law more than three decades ago. The Government of Canada is committed to reviewing our federal privacy legislation to ensure it keeps pace with both technological change and evolving Canadian values.
That is why today the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, along with the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board of Canada, announced the launch of an online public consultation on the review of the Privacy Act led by Justice Canada to ask Canadians to share their views on modernizing the Act. The Act regulates federal public sector institutions’ collection, use, disclosure, retention, and disposal of personal information.
Obtaining the views of Canadians is imperative to making sure that our federal privacy framework reflects the needs and expectations of modern society. Members of the public, including Indigenous people and interested stakeholders are invited to share their views by participating in the online public consultation until January 17, 2021.
Canadians are invited to share their views on key issues, such as the rules on when federal institutions can collect personal information, how they can use the information entrusted to them, when they can share it with other federal institutions, and the right of individuals to access personal information held by federal institutions. Participants are also being asked to consider oversight and enforcement models under the Act.
“Every Canadian is affected by the Privacy Act and how personal information is handled by the federal government. Canadians expect privacy laws to keep pace with technological and social change. Reviewing the Act will help guide us as we move forward to better serve Canadians.”
The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
“Privacy is one of the single biggest issues of our time and our government is working hard to protect the privacy of Canadians in this digital age. Reviewing the Privacy Act is an important part of that work. We are and always will be committed to safeguarding the privacy and security of Canadians’ personal information.”
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
President of the Treasury Board of Canada
The Privacy Act regulates federal public sector institutions’ collection, use, disclosure, retention, and disposal of information.
The Act also gives Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and individuals present in Canada the right to request access to their personal information held by federal government institutions that are subject to the Act.
In 2017, the Government of Canada announced that Justice Canada would lead a thorough review of the Privacy Act, working closely with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and other departments.
Canada’s Digital Charter lays the foundation for modernizing the rules that govern the digital sphere in Canada and rebuilding Canadians’ trust in these institutions. The Digital Charter outlines what Canadians can expect from the Government in relation to the digital landscape.
Justice Canada engaged expert stakeholders in 2019 to obtain their views and feedback on the various technical and legal considerations that need to be taken into account.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice Canada
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