Canada Introduces Anti-Spam Bill, Changes to PIPEDA

By: Absolute Team | 7/6/2010

The Canadian government is proposing changes to the privacy law and there is controversy about whether all of these proposed changes are a good thing.

The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, and the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec) announced the tabling of an amendment to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and the re-introduction of anti-spam legislation, the Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act (FISA).

Though there is applause for the introduction of FISA, some are worried about the proposed changes to PIPEDA.

The proposed amendments include a number of new exceptions for business and law enforcement, which isn’t surprising, but “the attempt to put a gag order on businesses who disclose information to law enforcement“ is highly problematic, he said.

“It’s USA Patriot Act-like in approach,” said Geist. He also finds the “the continual push towards encouraging business to disclose personal information without court oversight” concerning.

Geist is also disappointed with the security breach notification provisions. “I think the threshold is very high and I think there are no penalties. The absence of penalties, I think, makes it less likely that we will see full compliance and the high threshold means that even if someone does want to comply, they won’t have to send a notification anyway,” he said.

Read more about this controversy here.

Financial Services