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Canada: Federal Privacy Commissioner Begins Public Consultation on Transborder Dataflows

On April 9, 2019, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada launched the Consultation on transborder dataflows. The Consultation will allow members of the public to make submissions in respect of guidance the Commissioner will provide with respect to accountability measures and consent issues surrounding cross-border movement of data.

The Office has recently indicating that it is revisiting its position on cross-border dataflows. In particular, in the Office’s view, cross-border data flows should be considered to be not only matters decided by states (trade agreements and laws) and organizations (commercial agreements), but that individuals ought to and do, under PIPEDA, have a say in whether their personal information will be disclosed outside Canada, such that their consent to such disclosure would be required.

The Commissioner’s updated position is expected to extend not only to cross-border data transfers between controllers and processors, but also to other cross-border disclosures of personal information between organizations. The Consultation will be open until June 4, 2019. Individuals and organizations interested in filing submissions as part of the Consultation may do so in accordance with the feedback criteria and procedures set out by the Office.