Ottawa, September 29, 2011—The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, today announced an important step in further protecting the privacy of Canadians during commercial transactions with the reintroduction of amendments to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) in the House of Commons.

"Canadians have given our government a strong mandate to stay focused on what matters: creating jobs and economic growth. Ensuring trust and confidence through the protection of personal information is essential to the growth of the digital economy," said Minister Paradis. "Our government will continue to help protect consumers and businesses from the misuse of their personal information, thereby increasing confidence in the online marketplace."

PIPEDA sets privacy rules for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information in a way that balances the privacy rights of individuals with measures to maintain the flows of information that are necessary for the conduct of business. The Act has broad support in Canada and is recognized internationally as an effective and balanced approach to privacy protection.

The Bill includes provisions to better protect and empower consumers, clarify and streamline rules for business and enable effective investigations by law enforcement and security agencies. A key amendment would require organizations to report material breaches of personal information to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Affected individuals would also be notified when there is a risk of significant harm such as identity theft, fraud or risk to one's reputation. Notification would permit individuals to take steps to mitigate damages arising from the breach.

In a modern economy, a solid, efficient regime for the protection of personal information is of vital importance to both individuals and businesses.

"Canada already has a solid legislative framework in place to ensure the protection of personal information," said Minister Paradis. "These amendments are based on extensive consultations and will help us maintain a balanced and practical approach to privacy law."

The proposed amendments also allow for the release of personal information to help protect victims of financial abuse and include measures to better protect the privacy of minors online.

To read the release online, click here.