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CMA releases report on European privacy law

The Toronto-based Canadian Marketing Association has issued a report in advance of the introduction of new private sector privacy legislation from the Government of Canada. The report advises against following the model of the privacy law of the European Union in favour of a "uniquely Canadian privacy law."

According to the association, the report compiles findings from approximately 30 third-party research reports and commentaries regarding the EU's General Data Protection Regulation, which went into effect in 2018. The report highlights the complexity of the law for consumers and regulators as well as the cost of administering it. The report also claims that the law has "stifled innovation and growth" at the expense of "more meaningful privacy protection and innovation-generating activities." In addition, the report claims that the EU law has had a disproportionate impact on small- and medium-sized businesses.

"While the GDPR has sparked progress in advancing privacy protections and awareness globally, it has proven after more than three years to be much better in theory than in practice," said John Wiltshire, president and CEO of the CMA. "There are growing concerns that the law's pitfalls are stifling innovation, overwhelming regulators and creating complexity for consumers. Canada has the opportunity to learn from the EU experience, and to once again be a global leader with legislation that protects consumer privacy while preserving the enormous social and economic value of data to Canadians."

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