Special Report

Ottawa’s big privacy overhaul offers new data rights for consumers, flexibility for companies

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains at the cabinet retreat in Ottawa in September 2020.
Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains at the cabinet retreat in Ottawa in September 2020. The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains announced long-awaited changes to Canada’s consumer privacy law Tuesday, giving users new rights over the information they share with businesses and companies more flexibility to use the data they collect.

Bill C-11 caps more than two years of policy development. A new Consumer Privacy Protection Act will give consumers new rights to move their personal information between service providers and get companies to remove their data, and requires firms to be more transparent about their use of algorithms and AI. It also gives businesses more flexibility with how they use data. 

The new rules will encourage firms to “focus on meaningful compliance around consent, and that will generate responsible innovation,” Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said in an interview with The Logic. “That’s good for Canada being a respected jurisdiction and a world leader when it comes to privacy, which will lead us to continue to generate more data-related solutions [and] seize the potential of AI.” 

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