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A review of Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is long overdue, said privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart. Specifically, Stoddart would like to see better transparency when law enforcement agencies and government organizations access the personal information of Canadian citizens without their consent. “Parliamentary schedule seems to overlook the fact that PIPEDA requires such a review every five years,” said Stoddart, who noted that updating federal privacy regulation is a big concern. “The last review was scheduled in 2006.” Information covered under PIPEDA includes a person’s name, email address, health records, financial information, Social Insurance Number (SIN), and even fingerprints. Under the current act, Canadians’ personal information may be obtained from such organizations for a wide range of purposes, including for issues of national security, intelligence gathering, and the enforcement of Canadian law. Stoddart suggests clarifying PIPEDA’s use of lawful authority to determine under what circumstances, and by which authorities, personal information can be accessed and she also hopes to see changes to the way that PIPEDA governs the protection of personal information as it relates to corporate responsibility.

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