Privacy watchdog calls for stronger laws to protect Canadians’ digital privacy


OTTAWA — Canada’s privacy watchdog says he’s worried that privacy rights in Canada are being cast aside as both public and private entities rush to mine and harvest digital data.

In a letter to Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien says the government must take stronger actions to protect Canadians’ digital privacy in the face of the lightning-fast evolution of ways to collect deeply private information about citizens and customers.

Therrien says government has been slow to put a legal framework in place to ensure Canadians maintain trust in the digital economy and he’s increasingly troubled by it.

He says even giant technology firms have issued warnings about data extraction being used in ways that could breach the public trust, such as in Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data breach earlier this year.

He says Canadians need stronger privacy laws, not more permissive ones.

Therrien is urging the Liberals to create a new law to protect the private data of Canadians and to give his office greater powers of investigation and enforcement.


The Canadian Press