Canada introduces its own version of the "Right to be Forgotten"

By | February 12, 2018

Last week, Canada’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner released a draft position on what to do with online privacy. Her position appears to be a toned down version of the EU’s data protection position.

One of the more interesting aspects of the Canadian position is the Canadian variation of Europe’s ‚right to forget‘, which has raised a lot of criticism. As opposed to calling for hard-line deletion of the unwanted data, the Canadians version only calls for de-indexing search results for Canadian audiences.

Their argument is that de-indexing solves a lot of common problems, like getting those drunk party pictures out of Google results on your name shortly before your job interview, but leaves the information on the web for people who are willing to go out of their way to find out, for example a private detective.

I’m not exactly sure how that helps against HR or financial analysis tools operated by outsourced, cloud-based service providers in “data-liberal” countries like the US using the American APIs to access data as opposed to Canadian APIs, but it certainly is interesting to see a major country outside of Europe address similar principles!

More information:
– Draft OPC Position: https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/about-the-opc/what-we-do/consultations/consultation-on-online-reputation/pos_or_201801/
– Canada’s PIPEDA: https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/privacy-topics/privacy-laws-in-canada/the-personal-information-protection-and-electronic-documents-act-pipeda/
– EU Data Protection Position: https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection_en
– EU’s GDPR Text: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32016R0679

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