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May 30, 2018 – Protection of Private Data

May 30, 2018 – Protection of Private Data

The Open Caucus, a forum for discussion on issues of national importance, was first established in 2014 when Senate Liberals opened their Caucus doors to the public on Wednesday mornings. The Open Caucus is now co-sponsored by the Independent Senate Liberals, the Independent Senators Group, and the Office of the Government Representative in the Senate. This non-partisan collaboration now brings together three groups representing the majority of the Senate’s current membership.

The discussion is open to all Members of Parliament, Senators, parliamentary staff, media, and the public.

Canada needs to enhance the statutory protections of private data. Unlike the European Union who now have strict, proactive privacy regulations, Canada’s federal privacy laws operate on a complaint-based basis. In addition, Canada’s privacy laws do not currently apply to how political parties collect, store, use or misuse private data on voters.

In an increasingly digital world, it can be challenging to understand the scope and nature of data breaches that have, or may occur. As highlighted by the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data-abuse scandal, there is reason to explore how we can improve the protection of Canadian’s private data. In light of this growing concern, we ask experts: how should Canada’s federal privacy laws be extended to include political parties? What type of regulation is needed to ensure Canadian’s private data is managed ethically, transparently and with informed consent?

The panelists were: 

  • Daniel Therrien: Privacy Commissioner of Canada
  • Avner Levin: Professor and Interim Dean of Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management. Expert on the protection and regulation of private data, both locally and internationally
  • Valerie Steeves: Professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa. Expert on young people’s use of networked technologies and privacy law in Canada
  • Adam Kardash: Partner, Privacy and Data Management at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

The meeting took place:

Wednesday May 30, 2018
9:15am – 11:15am
Room 160-S, Centre Block

Read Senator Eggleton and Senator Saint-Germain’s thoughts on the topic of protection of private data here.

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