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Archived - Harper Government introduces new law to protect the personal information of Canadians online

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Canada's Digital Privacy Act will protect consumers and businesses, children and seniors

April 8, 2014 – Ottawa – Industry Canada

The Digital Privacy Act, introduced today in Parliament, will provide new protections for Canadians when they surf the web and shop online. These changes to protect Canadians' personal information are key elements of Digital Canada 150, a plan for Canada's digital future.

The Digital Privacy Act will require organizations to inform consumers when their personal information has been lost or stolen—also referred to as a "data breach"—ensuring Canadians can act to protect themselves when they shop online. Companies that fail to do so, or that destroy these records, will face fines of up to $100,000.

The new measures also establish stronger rules to ensure that vulnerable Canadians, particularly children, fully understand the potential consequences when companies ask to collect and use their personal information. Companies will need to communicate these requests in clear and simple language for the target audience.

Changes will also be made to the way personal information is shared from one business to another. This includes vital information for financial institutions to detect financial abuse and attempts to defraud seniors or to communicate with the parents of an injured child.

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada will also have improved powers, making the Commissioner more flexible and effective in protecting the rights of Canadians in the changing digital world.

Quick facts

  • Protecting Canadians is one of five key principles under Digital Canada 150, a plan for Canada to take full advantage of the economic opportunities of the digital age.
  • Digital Canada 150 will ensure that Canadians can trust that their online transactions are secure, that we lead in protecting the online privacy of our citizens, and that families are safeguarded against cyberbullying and other online threats.
  • The Digital Privacy Act sets the rules for how private sector businesses collect, use and disclose personal information including name, age, employment records, medical files, income and more. This type of information is required by many companies and organizations to conduct their regular business.


"Canadians need to have confidence that their online transactions are secure, their privacy is protected and their families are safe from online threats. The Digital Privacy Act is an important next step to protect the personal information of Canadians online. These changes will inform Canadians when their personal information has been lost, stolen or put at risk, and they will ensure companies that break these rules are punished."

– James Moore, Minister of Industry

"Elder abuse is an appalling crime and our government is committed to protecting seniors from all forms of abuse. This legislation takes action by strengthening Canada's private sector privacy laws and provides added protections for seniors, especially against financial abuse. This continues our government's hard work to ensure that those who are vulnerable in society are not taken advantage of."

– Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)

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Jake Enwright
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Industry

Media Relations
Industry Canada

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