Today’s the day that Canadian companies, large and small will be required to alert customers any time their personal information may fall into the wrong hands.
It’s called the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, and it’s a rather complex bill that talks a lot about preventing hacking in the first place, but the full disclosure aspect is a big deal, because oftentimes, companies that had been hacked didn’t inform their customers for fear of losing public confidence.
But the timing of the bill couldn’t be more bizarre.
As the government is talking about protecting consumers’ data, we discover that Statistics Canada is seeking to access our banking information to obtain data on the digital economy.
Red-faced StatCan officials are trying to assure us that they’ve been working with the privacy commissioner and the Canadian Banking Association to develop a protocol, but they’ve neglected to include one very important group in that conversation, namely, we, the people.
It seems incongruous that the government would go to great lengths to pass legislation to protect our privacy, while at the same time, allow StatCan to access our banking data without our permission.
We’re told that one project began last January and a second is supposed to start next January — so there’ still time to put the brakes on the plan.
The government must not only talk the talk, but walk the walk to protect our personal data.
Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML
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