Continuing, “Change is in the Air”

August 3, 2021 - Ron Kruzeniski, Information and Privacy Commissioner

My seventh Annual Report focuses on updating access and privacy legislation across our country; thus, the title “Change is in the Air”.  As we were finalizing this Annual Report, a number of events occurred which we did not include in our Annual Report.

In Newfoundland, a Report by the ATIPPA Statutory Review Committee, chaired by the Honourable David B. Orsborn was released entitled, “Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 (ATIPPA) Statutory Review 2020”.  The Report proposes changes to access and privacy legislation including the following:

  • That acknowledgement letters be automatically generated and sent to applicants when a coordinator confirms receipt of a request;
  • Provide a 20-year sunset clause on third-party business information; and
  • Specify that the commissioner has the authority to monitor compliance with the requirement to conduct privacy impact assessments and make recommendations for improvement.

See the Summary of Recommendations for a more detailed list.

For an article on the release of this Report, click here.

In Ontario, the government released a white paper entitled, “Modernizing Privacy in Ontario”.

The proposals in the white paper are organized into the following themes:

  • rights-based approach to privacy;
  • safe use of automated decision-making;
  • enhanced consent and lawful uses of personal data;
  • data transparency for Ontarians;
  • protecting children and youth;
  • a fair, proportionate and supportive regulatory regime; and
  • support for Ontario innovators.

The conclusion in the white paper can be found here on page 42.

The Government of Alberta has launched a public engagement to gather feedback on privacy protections in Alberta. The government stated on its website:

Your input will help identify opportunities to strengthen privacy protections, improve government services and ensure Albertans get the most possible value from data. The engagement will focus on protections related to the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act.

Complete the online survey by August 20, 2021 to share your thoughts on privacy-related topics, including:

    • enhancing the rights of Albertans to access and control their own privacy when interacting with government, other public bodies, and private sector organizations (examples include ensuring clear and informed consent, data portability, requesting deletion of personal information)
    • establishing stronger transparency requirements (for example, mandatory reporting, plain language privacy statements)
    • establishing parameters and legal requirements for collecting, using, and disclosing data that has been de-identified
    • enhancing oversight to ensure the Government of Alberta, public bodies, and/or private sector organizations will protect personal information and privacy as new technologies and/or digital business models are implemented

Details regarding the survey can be found at:

I will continue to update you as changes to access and privacy legislation occur across our country.

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