As Privacy Reform Continues to Be MIA, Petition Circulates to Move it Forward

Canada’s privacy reform legislation continues to be missing in action, so Open Media is circulating a petition to make it happen.

During the last government, Canada introduced it’s long awaited privacy reform legislation. The legislation was introduced in November of 2020 after considerable delay. It was badly needed back then because companies around the world have figured out that the only repercussions for violating Canadian privacy is a strongly worded letter from the privacy commission. There really is no other consequence from the government and it requires ordinary citizens to scrounge up the resources to sue the companies in question – a tall order in this day and age.

Unfortunately, the legislation stalled with Innovation Minister, François-Philippe Champagne, dragging his feet on the legislation. It seemed as though that getting him to lift a finger to move the legislation forward was like pulling teeth. Eventually, the criticism got to the minister who then, in turn, blamed Conservatives for his inaction on the legislation. This despite the fact that every political party is generally supportive of the legislation in the first place.

When the election was called, the bill died on the order paper. It was a hugely disappointing aspect of the election being called because almost everyone recognizes just how badly Canada needs privacy reform. Even the provinces started looking into privacy reform thanks to the Federal governments inaction.

After the election was over, Champagne laughably said that privacy reform was one of his top priorities. Given how much the last bill was slow walked, it was more believable that the Minister would rather spend his time navel gazing rather than even contemplate re-introducing the legislation. Now, here we are, five months later, and we haven’t even heard a word about this so-called “top priority”. Not really a big surprise to us, but disappointing nevertheless.

Digital rights organization, Open Media, is circulating a petition calling on the government to finally get off of its lazy butt and do something about privacy reform.

The petition has more than 11,000 signatures:

Every day, we’re hurt by the government’s unwillingness to fix our digital privacy. Sensitive information about us — like data related to our health, finances, and location — is being bought, sold, stolen, lost, and used against us, without any significant repercussions.

Enough is enough: We’re tired of inaction, broken promises, and bad bills. If we act together right now, we can DEMAND that the government finally passes the privacy laws we need to protect ourselves in this digital era. Sign the petition and #DemandPrivacy now!

Indeed, everyone suffers with a lack of privacy reform in Canada. Even the federal government is leaving billions on the table by not moving forward with the legislation. This goes over top of the people it seeks to protect where companies continue to buy and sell that personal information at the expense of every day users without any real consequence.

While it is unclear if the petition will finally light a fire under the Minister’s rear end, it will, at the very least, tell the government that Canadians are still interested in finally moving forward with this important issue. Data leaks and data breaches happen every day and Canadian’s will continue to pay the price as this inaction continues to drag on. So, hopefully, the petition will continue to gather signatures because it is currently one of the only things Canadian’s can really do about any of this.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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