POLITICS
11/17/2020 13:57 EST

Feds’ Proposed Privacy Law Does Away With Tech Companies’ Legal Mumbo-Jumbo

The digital charter would have the ability to dole out hefty fines to tech companies.

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terms and conditions, man reading agreement on the screen of smartphone

OTTAWA — Companies would have to obtain consent from customers through plain language, not a long legal document, before using their personal data if newly introduced privacy measures become law.

The Liberal government bill is designed to flesh out the 10 principles — from control over data to meaningful penalties for misuse of information — that make up the federal digital charter.

The government says the legislation would give consumers the ability to more easily transfer their data from one business to another. For example, people could direct their bank to share their personal information with another financial institution.

How it would work

The proposed Digital Charter Implementation Act would give the federal privacy commissioner order-making powers, including the ability to demand that a company stop collecting data or using personal information.

In addition, the privacy commissioner would be able to recommend that the planned Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal impose a fine. 

The legislation would provide for administrative monetary penalties of up to three per cent of global revenue, or $10 million, for non-compliant organizations. 

It also contains an expanded range of offences for certain serious infractions, including a maximum fine of 5 per cent of global revenue, or $25 million.

“The fines are there to provide accountability,” said Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains.

“If we want Canadians to feel confident online … they need to make sure that their privacy is protected, and that they have greater control over their data.”

 

The government says the law would also ensure that Canadians could demand their information on social-media platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter, be permanently deleted.

To reinforce this, the privacy commissioner would have the ability to order a social-media company to comply, it adds.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2020.

Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press

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