CMA calls for alignment in privacy regulation in response to Quebec’s proposed privacy law
The Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) today responded to sweeping proposals to reform Quebec’s private sector privacy law, urging greater alignment with other jurisdictions.
“There must be a mechanism for Quebec to align its privacy framework with other jurisdictions across the country to avoid unnecessary complexity for consumers and business,” said John Wiltshire, the CMA’s President and CEO. “A patchwork of privacy rules across the country will confuse consumers, impede interprovincial and international trade, and put a damper on direct foreign investment in Quebec.”
The reform proposals, contained in Bill 64, come at a time when the Government of Canada and key provinces, including Ontario and B.C., are consulting on their own privacy laws governing private sector organizations.
The marketing community supports many improvements proposed in Bill 64, including new exemptions to consent to reduce consent fatigue for consumers, and an exclusion of business contact information from the definition of personal information.
Other aspects of the Bill require adjustments to ensure Quebec’s privacy framework achieves its dual goal of protecting consumers while supporting responsible innovation and competitiveness. In addition, it is in the interest of the government and its citizens to avoid challenges that have arisen in jurisdictions governed by more prescriptive, EU-inspired data protection laws.
The marketing community is particularly concerned about certain provisions in the Bill inspired by the EU’s stringent GDPR framework, including additional requirements for consent and transparency, cross-border data transfer requirements, and significant monetary penalties and enforcement measures.
“The ability of organizations to collect, use and share personal information is key to providing value to consumers, and to ensuring Quebec’s innovation and competitiveness,” Wiltshire noted. “It is important that Quebec’s privacy law remain adaptive to a changing business and technology environment.”
The CMA’s response comes as the National Assembly’s Committee on Institutions concludes special consultations and public hearings this week.
Bill 64 was introduced in Quebec’s National Assembly earlier this summer. The CMA will continue to engage with the Government of Quebec as the Bill undergoes further consideration.
About the Canadian Marketing Association
The CMA is the voice of the marketing profession, representing more than 50 corporate, not-for-profit, public, and post-secondary members across Quebec, and contributing to the professional excellence of Quebec marketers through our events and professional development programs. Our community includes creative, media, and PR agencies, research firms, management consulting firms, technology companies and other suppliers to the marketing community. We support activities related to thought-leadership, professional development, consumer protection, and commercial success. We act as the primary advocate for marketing with governments, regulators and other stakeholders. Our Chartered Marketer (CM) designation ensures that marketing professionals are highly qualified and up to date with best practices. We champion self-regulatory standards, including the mandatory Canadian Marketing Code of Ethics and Standards.
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