Federal privacy legislation introduced today would require companies to get consent from customers through plain language, not a lengthy legal document, before using their personal data.
The bill is designed to flesh out the 10 principles — from control over data to meaningful penalties for misuse of information — that make up the federal digital charter.
The Liberal government says the legislation would give consumers the ability to more easily transfer their data from one business to another.
People could also demand that a company delete or destroy their information if they withdraw consent.
The proposed Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2020, would also give the federal privacy commissioner order-making powers, including the ability to demand that a company stop collecting data or using personal information.
The bill includes fines of up to five per cent of a company’s revenue or $25 million, whichever is greater, for the most serious offences.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last year in announcing plans for a digital charter that Big Tech firms have been failing their users, and that steep penalties were needed to give new powers teeth.
“The platforms are failing their users. And they’re failing our citizens. They have to step up in a major way to counter disinformation, and if they don’t, we will hold them to account and there will be meaningful financial consequences,” he said at the time.
While the plan was announced previously, there was no accompanying legislation to make it law.
The bill introduced on Tuesday seeks to do so, in addition to other measures.