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Canada Update: Value of Europe’s GDPR
With the Canadian
government in the midst of
it review of the country’s
flagship privacy rule, it
has become apparent that
Europe’s new General Data
(GDPR) will have an impact that extends far beyond the region.
Under Canadian law, regulations must undergo a periodic review.
This week marks the third week of hearings by the House of
Commons’ Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy
and Ethics during their required review of Personal Information
Protection and Electronic Document Act (PIPEDA).
Although PIPEDA, passed into law in 2000, has survived two such
reviews in the past with little or no meaningful changes, something
appears decidedly different about this review. That difference is the
result of the European Union passing the new GDPR, which goes
into full effect in 2018.
There is little doubt that PIPEDA was originally aligned with
Europe’s Data Protection Directive issued in 1995. It is logical,
therefore, that the total revamping of that guiding regulation would
have serious ramifications in Canada.
Because the GDPR will introduce severe fines and sanctions, grant
enforcement powers to regulators, required extreme vendor due
diligence, written policies and mandate data breach notification – all
things promoted by Canadian privacy officials (and NAID) for more
than a decade – it appears the GDPR has gotten the attention of law
NAID CEO Bob Johnson wrote an article several years ago
regarding the fact that Canada, once seen as leader in privacy and
data protection, was lagging behind the rest of the world. In that
article, Johnson speculated that the proposed GDPR (it had yet
to be approved at the time), would strand the country in the data
protection dark ages. Evidently, Canadian law makers see that too.
This is a great development for reputable service providers with the
right qualifications. It is likely that Europe’s influence will continue
to spread to Australia next, as well as to Asia and Japan too.
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