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Government proposes new privacy protection laws

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada has introduced new laws intended to strengthen consumer privacy protection online in Canada. The Digital Charter Implementation Act is intended to create new rules for the responsible development and use of artificial intelligence. It includes three proposed acts: the Consumer Privacy Protection Act, the Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal Act, and the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act.

The Consumer Privacy Protection Act is intended to ensure that the privacy of Canadians is protected and that businesses have clear privacy rules regarding evolving technology. It would increase control and transparency of when personal information is handled by organizations, give consumers the ability to move their information from one organization to another in a secure manner, allow consumers to request that their information be disposed of when it is no longer needed, establish stronger protections for minors, provide the Privacy Commissioner of Canada with order-making powers, including the ability to order a company to stop collecting data or using personal information, and establish fines for non-compliant organizations of up to 5% of global revenue or $25 million.

The Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal Act would create a new tribunal to facilitate the enforcement of the Consumer Privacy Protection Act.

The Artificial Intelligence and Data Act will introduce new rules to strengthen consumer trust in the development and deployment of AI systems. This would include ensuring AI systems are used in a way that identifies, assesses and mitigates the risks of harm and bias, establishing an AI and Data Commissioner within the Ministery of Innovation, Science and Industry to monitor compliance, order audits, and share information with other regulators and enforcers, and outline criminal prohibitions and penalties regarding the use of data obtained unlawfully or where the reckless deployment of AI poses serious harm.

“In today's economy, Canada's competitiveness depends on our ability to use digital innovation to harness the power of data,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Safety and trust must be the foundation of this new digital economy. By introducing the Digital Charter Implementation Act, we are ensuring that Canadians can trust when and how their information is being used. It will also give businesses clear rules to support their efforts to innovate with data and will introduce a new regulatory framework for the responsible development of artificial intelligence systems, while recognizing the need to protect young people and their information. This will not only promote confidence in the digital space but also ensure a safe, more inclusive and secure digital economy for the benefit of all Canadians.”

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