Innovation Policy

    Group representing Canada’s leading CEOs to call for strengthening individual privacy, more open data, ahead of national data strategy

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    The Business Council of Canada is calling on the government to adopt a set of principles for a “responsible and innovative” data economy that includes a proactive stance in favour of individual privacy. The move could have major influence on the federal government’s national data strategy.

    The council, whose members lead companies that represent more than half the value of the Toronto Stock Exchange, provided the list of principles to the government on September 21 and will release them publicly early this week. Copies of the submission were provided exclusively to The Logic.

    Talking Point

    Calls by the council to mandate that data be made available to others if exclusive access undermines competition, could put the council—which includes the CEOs of the country’s Big Five banks and Big Three telecoms—at odds with foreign tech giants. The principles, if adopted, open the door to more flexible privacy rules in Canada, as well as to emerging practices like open banking.

    The privacy principle—one of nine in total—holds that Canadians should be able to control their personal data and be protected from unauthorized access or misuse, something European Union regulators sought to address with the controversial General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implemented earlier this year.

    The council also says, on the matter of competition, that companies in Canada should compete on their ability to create value with data, rather than compete for its ownership.

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