Federal parties look poised to use new law to fight B.C. privacy regulations, court documents indicate – The Hill Times

Adam Kardash

Sep 20, 2023

There is a chance federal political parties may use Bill C-47 passed this spring as the basis for their argument that they should be exempt from British Columbia’s privacy laws. In an interview with The Hill Times, Adam Kardash, partner and Chair, Privacy and Data Management, says the suggestion that the current approach at the federal level provides adequate privacy regulation for federal political parties is entirely without any merit.

“It is fair to say than on this issue [the federal parties’] interests align to the detriment of the Canadian public,” says Adam. “The fact that they’re challenging this so vigorously is really something that all Canadians should be concerned about.”

Adam highlighted several specific items that would be standard in most privacy laws, but that the federal parties are not presently subject to. For example, under current federal laws, the federal parties are not required to obtain consent when they collect, use, or disclose personal information. As well, the parties do not face any statutory obligation to safeguard the data they collect, and no obligation to notify individuals or an independent regulator if their data is breached.

Adams says there is a standing question about whether B.C. should be regulating federal parties. “There is an open question as to what is the appropriate statutory instrument – whether federal or provincial – that will apply, but this issue could be easily put to bed if there was any interest amongst the federal parties by simply creating a federal statute that would just eliminate any uncertainty that a robust regime is in place,” he says.

If you have a subscription to The Hill Times, you can read the full article by author Ian Campbell published by The Hill Times on September 8, 2023.