Briefing

Centre for Digital Rights wants court review of election commissioner decision on parties’ voter-list use

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The advocacy non-profit, founded by Jim Balsillie, former co-CEO of Research in Motion (now BlackBerry), claims the Liberals, Conservatives and NDP are violating election law by combining voter lists—which are only meant to be used for communications—with other information, then using their database for tasks like scoring voters’ likely support in order to target their outreach efforts. The application, filed Friday, seeks a judicial review of the commissioner’s April decision not to investigate the centre’s complaint. CTV reporter Glen McGregor first tweeted it. (The Logic)

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Talking point: In September 2019, the centre lodged complaints about the three parties’ use of personal information and other data with Canada’s competition, privacy, and elections commissioners, as well as the B.C. privacy commissioner and the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission. The antitrust watchdog is investigating. Federal privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien has repeatedly called for parties to be brought under privacy laws, from which they’re currently exempt.

Correction: The CDR is alleging political parties are using voter lists illegally by using them for purposes other than communication. This story has been updated.