The Ontario government is seeking public input concerning the collection, use and safeguarding of personal data online, to improve the province’s privacy protection laws, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services noted in an Aug. 13 press release.
“Our government continually hears concerns regarding the province’s privacy protections,” said Lisa Thompson, minister of government and consumer services, in the release. “This has only been further highlighted during the COVID-19 outbreak, which has resulted in Ontarians relying more on digital platforms to carry out day-to-day tasks. With the increased reliance on these platforms, there is a strong need to build public and consumer confidence and trust in the digital economy. I encourage all Ontarians to participate in these consultations as privacy is critically important to everyone.”
As part of this process, the provincial government will be inviting the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, as well as people and businesses from various sectors, including technology, financial and service, to contribute to making the laws more transparent and accountable.
The research will be conducted through an online survey. Web conferences are also part of the process, and the deadline for written submissions from impacted businesses and the general public is October 1, 2020.
Through these consultations, the ministry noted that the province aims to work toward increasing transparency for Ontarians, providing them with more detail about how businesses and organizations are using their information and introducing a right for individuals to request information related to them be deleted. Improving people’s right to withdraw consent at any time, and adopting an “opt-in” model for secondary uses of their information among others, are also key goals.
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“As Ontario transitions to the post-COVID realities, the global data-driven economy continues to march ahead presenting new challenges for policymakers,” said Benjamin Bergen, executive director of the Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI), in the press release. “Our members welcome the government’s effort to design a new and updated framework that allows it to govern the economic and non-economic effects of the data-driven world where the collection, use and monetizing of personal data is at the centre of new business models. Privacy protections and industry growth don’t need to be at odds and we look forward to the discussions on how best to enhance fundamental personal privacy elements while positioning Ontario to be a leader in the 21st Century innovation economy.”