Finding the perfect balance

Jan 24, 2022

What data usage and yoga have in common

I have taken a recent interest in yoga. The practice of yoga is all about finding that perfect balance between meaningful effort and not overstretching. When you find that point, everything seems to flow. I feel better and have gained a lot of balance through my practice. 

As we strive, during Data Privacy Week, to empower individuals and encourage businesses to respect privacy and safeguard data, it occurs to me that data privacy laws have a lot in common with the concept behind yoga. They, too, require balance. Consumers need to know their data is being protected, and not mishandled or misused. That is critical, for sure. But if the law goes too far, it stymies innovation, reduces personalization, contributes to “consent fatigue” and disadvantages the very consumers that it is intended to benefit.

At the CMA, we have put a lot of effort into persuading government to update Canada’s privacy law (PIPEDA) to bring it into the modern age. Businesses need a clear set of forward-facing regulations in order to make sound investments and meet consumers’ needs. Consumers need rules and privacy notices to be clear and concise so they understand how their data is being used. 

We are having a lot of thoughtful discussions with parliamentarians to make sure Canada gets it right – so that commerce and positive consumer outcomes continue to flow. A few have suggested that Canada adopt a made-in-Europe solution called the GDPR. But we need to figure out what is best for Canada. There is lots to learn from the European experiment. For example, the European law has created a staggering regulatory burden for governments, and it has hampered the ability of organizations to compete and innovate.

We will soon release a report describing how Canada can do better. Watch for our report and media release in early February.

P.S. Register to attend CMA's CASL Essentials for Marketers seminar on Thursday to brush up on CASL rules in a range of marketing areas including mobile marketing, B2B, list sharing, contests and more.

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John Wiltshire

President & CEO Canadian Marketing Association




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