Canada’s Outdated On-line Privateness Guidelines Aren’t Defending You


With many people caught at residence because of the pandemic, individuals are spending an excessive amount of time on-line generally and social media particularly. This isn’t shocking, provided that 99 p.c of Canadian households have broadband web and that 94 p.c of on-line Canadian adults have an account on no less than one social media platform, making Canada one of the vital related nations on this planet. makes a.

Nevertheless, as we rely increasingly more on these platforms to attach and mediate {our relationships}, we’re additionally creating extra knowledge about our pursuits and habits. This wealth of information about us and the folks in our community is being utilized by all kinds of stakeholders, together with social media platforms and lots of third events.

rising restlessness

On this context, it isn’t shocking that social media customers have gotten more and more uneasy about how a lot knowledge is being collected about them and the way it’s getting used. For instance, in our survey of 1,500 Canadians, 65 to 66 p.c of respondents stated they’re uncomfortable with details about them being accessed or posted on social media from entrepreneurs, authorities, monetary establishments and political events.

Share of 1,500 respondents who’re uncomfortable accessing publicly out there social media knowledge posted by or by third events.
(Social Media Privateness Report of the Ryerson College Social Media Lab in Canada, 2018), writer supplied

This lack of consolation is without doubt one of the indicators telling us that Canada’s on-line knowledge shouldn’t be adequately protected below the present Private Info Safety and Digital Paperwork Act (PIPEDA).

PIPEDA is 20 years previous, and bringing it into line with the rules set out in Canada’s new Digital Constitution is considered one of this authorities’s said priorities. Nevertheless, the method has been delayed first by federal elections and now by the pandemic. The pandemic itself has additionally spurred the event and deployment of rising data-greedy digital instruments and methods akin to contact tracing and facial recognition, making the reform of PIPEDA extra necessary than ever.



Learn extra: Police mustn’t have entry to knowledge from coronavirus contact tracing apps


A brand new privateness and knowledge safety regulation also needs to account for rising applied sciences and their purposes that can drive our digital financial system within the close to future.

classes from elsewhere

When the European Union carried out the Basic Knowledge Safety Regulation (GDPR) in 2018, it discovered itself in battle with a complete class of rising applied sciences primarily based on blockchain. Blockchain is identical know-how used to create bitcoin, however it isn’t restricted to cryptocurrencies. It additionally powers social media websites like Steemit, Minds and Memos, which give customers extra management over their private knowledge.

The decentralized nature of those blockchain-based websites makes it difficult to adjust to the GDPR, which assumes that there’s a single knowledge controller (both a person or a authorized entity) who collects private knowledge from people and is accountable for defending such knowledge. Is. In a peer-to-peer blockchain community, the ledger that shops all the information is distributed throughout a number of nodes and isn’t managed by a single entity.

In truth, it constitutes “joint regulation”, which is difficult to implement and interpret inside the GDPR framework. The decentralized design additionally conflicts with the GDPR’s precept of information minimization, which requires knowledge controllers to scale back the quantity and sort of information collected and saved about people.

One other design characteristic of blockchain to guard knowledge from modification or deletion contradicts the GDPR’s “proper to be forgotten” provision, which provides folks the fitting to request the deletion of their private knowledge “with out undue delay”. .

future safety

Present rules would require new pointers that handle decentralized, user-driven knowledge collectives akin to blockchain-based social media websites. However regardless that these efforts are nonetheless underway within the EU, right here in Canada are some classes we are able to study from this instance.

First, it is necessary to make it possible for updating PIPEDA focuses not solely on in the present day’s applied sciences, but additionally on what’s on the horizon. It’s because rising applied sciences akin to blockchain are altering the facility dynamics between knowledge controllers and disciplines, creating new methods to create, gather, entry and share person knowledge.

The second lesson is that everybody, together with customers, governments, platform suppliers, knowledge brokers, data-driven industries, app builders, wants to make sure flexibility and accountability to handle issues of Canadians about how private knowledge is used. Working with stakeholders would require creativity. researchers, civil society teams and others.

Doing so will permit Canada to foster the following wave of digital innovation, whereas nonetheless defending and empowering Canada’s knowledge rights.



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