Is Canada’s Proposed Consent Requirement for Cross-Border Transfers Worth the Risk?

06/28/2019

Miriam H. Wugmeister, Cynthia J. Rich, and Robert N. Famigletti

Privacy + Data Security

In The News

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) took the unusual step of reopening a previously suspended, controversial consultation on cross-border data transfers under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) — signaling it remains determined to move toward a consent-based model for such transfers under current and possibly future PIPEDA rules. The OPC’s proposal to impose consent rules on cross-border transfers runs counter to the growing consensus that obtaining an individual’s consent does little to enhance privacy protections for individuals. It would fundamentally change PIPEDA’s long‑standing accountability-based approach, encourage data localization, and transform Canada’s cross-border approach into one of the strictest in the world.

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