Alberta Government Seeks Feedback on Privacy Legislation

Bennett Jones LLPThe Ministry of Service Alberta is seeking public input on the province's statutory privacy protections. This follows Ontario's recent gesture to modernize its privacy framework and request feedback, which we discussed in Regulation of Privacy in Ontario: One Step Closer.

In its invitation for public consultation, the Alberta government states that it is focused on privacy protections under the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). Each of these statutes regulates the collection, use and disclosure of information: PIPA for the private sector and FOIP for public bodies.

The government has created an online survey to collect stakeholders' views on a variety of topics, including:

  • access to and control of one's information when interacting with public and private organizations, including issues related to informed consent, data portability and the right to be forgotten;
  • transparency, including through mandatory breach reporting and plain-language privacy policies;
  • rules for the collection, use and disclosure of de-identified information; and
  • oversight to ensure that public and private organizations protect personal information as new technologies emerge.

Many of these topics appear to align directly with proposed reforms at the federal level in Bill C-11, which, among other things, proposes to enact the Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA). Our preliminary discussion on the CPPA can be found in Understanding the Draft Consumer Privacy Protection Act: A Summary of the Key Changes Proposed.

In addition to the online survey, written feedback may be submitted directly to the Alberta government via email, by August 20, 2021. The Alberta government has also stated it will invite stakeholders to provide written feedback and participate in targeted focus groups.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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