The Liberal government has officially unveiled a new Digital Charter aimed at laying out a path forward to safely manage Canadians’ data, while balancing an increasingly data-driven innovation economy.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Min. Navdeep Bains launched the set of 10 principles during an address Tuesday at the Empire Club of Canada in Toronto.
Aimed at building “a foundation of trust for Canadians in the digital sphere”, the actions include proposals to modernize the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which governs the use of data and personal information by private entities.
“Canadians’ trust in the digital world is shaken. But in this new age, Canada’s competitiveness will depend on our ability to use digital innovation to harness the power of data,” said Bains in a release. “Canada’s Digital Charter and its 10 principles set the foundation to rebuild Canadians’ trust and empower them to reach their full innovative and economic potential. We are building a Canada where citizens have confidence that their data is safe and privacy is respected, unlocking the kind of innovation that builds a strong economy that works for everyone.”
The 10 principles of the charter include:
1. Universal Access
2. Safety and Security
3. Control and Consent
4. Transparency, Portability and Interoperability
5. Open and Modern Digital Government
6. A Level Playing Field
7. Data and Digital for Good
8. Strong Democracy
9. Free from Hate and Violent Extremism
10. Strong Enforcement and Real Accountability
There will be clear, meaningful penalties for violations of the laws and regulations that support these principles.
The Digital Charter builds on the commitment made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to join the Christchurch Call to Action, which calls for the elimination of extreme content online. First announced in Paris on May 15, alongside French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, among other world leaders, the call outlines collective, voluntary commitments from Governments and online service providers to prevent the abuse of the internet as occurred in and after the Christchurch attacks.
It’s unlikely the proposed digital reforms will become law before this fall’s federal election.
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