On August 13, the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (Ministry) launched a consultation (Consultation) regarding potential reforms to Ontario’s privacy laws. Currently, the principal legislation governing privacy matters in Ontario’s asset management sector is the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). The Ontario government is considering whether there is a need for Ontario legislation or other measures to address potential legislative gaps or provide enhanced protections for individuals in Ontario.
This initiative is at an early stage of development, with the Ministry is seeking feedback on general concepts, including the following:
- Increase transparency: Provide individuals with more detail about how their information is being used by businesses and organizations;
- Enhance consent provisions allowing individuals to revoke consent at any time and establishing an opt-in model for secondary uses of their information;
- Introduce a right to be forgotten so that individuals can request that information relating to them be deleted;
- Introduce standards for de-identified data (i.e. anonymized data derived from personal information) to clarify how privacy protections apply;
- Introduce data portability standards, giving individuals greater freedom to change service providers without losing their data;
- Create a legislative framework for data trusts so that, for example, an organization’s data could be governed by a third party to ensure the data is used in a transparent and accountable way; and
- Increase the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s enforcement powers including the introduction of penalty powers.
Many of these themes overlap with issues being considered by the Government of Canada as part of its initiative to modernize PIPEDA, which we discussed in our May 2019 bulletin.
In Ontario, the Ministry has launched a survey to collect individuals’ views on privacy issues. Organizations are invited to make written submissions on the Consultation by October 1, 2020. If you want to make a submission or learn more about how existing privacy legislation and potential reforms may affect your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.
August 31, 2020