RealTime IT News

Canadians to Tackle Net Privacy Issues

The federal Departments of Industry and Justice have released a public discussion paper entitled "The Protection of Personal Information: Building Canada's Information Economy and Society."

The paper outlines the various issues which must be addressed in developing legislation.

In Canada, the Privacy Act protects personal information collected by the Government of Canada, but there is no current federal legislation protecting the information collected by the private sector. The Government is committed to developing legislation to protect personal information in the private sector and will be introducing new legislation in the Fall of 1998.

Canada is fortunate to have The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Code for the Protection of Personal Information, an excellent starting point for the new law because it represents a consensus among industry, government, and consumer groups.

The CSA Code embodies the following 10 fair information principles: accountability; identifying purposes; consent; limiting collection; limiting use, disclosure and retention; accuracy; safeguards; openness; individual access; and challenging compliance.

The discussion paper outlines the key elements of the Code, asks whether the Code covers all the issues sufficiently, raises questions, and puts forward options. All Canadians are encouraged to read and respond to the paper on or before March 27, 1998.

Copies of the consultation paper are available electronically from the Industry Canada site.