2. Modernizing the purpose clause to better reflect the Act’s broader objectives

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

The Act’s purpose clause could reflect the important underlying public objectives of federal public-sector privacy legislation

The current purpose clause states that “[t]he purpose of this Act is to extend the present laws of Canada that protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by a federal public body and that provide individuals with a right of access to that information.” This statement reflects the Act’s legislative history more than its broader public objectives. A modernized purpose clause could provide better guidance for interpretation by clearly stating the important underlying objectives of federal public sector data protection legislation, notably: 

  • protecting individuals’ human dignity, personal autonomy, and self-determination; 
  • enhancing public trust and confidence in government; 
  • promoting the responsible use and sharing of data to advance government objectives in the public interest; 
  • promoting effective and accountable public governance;
  • advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada by promoting improved data sharing with Indigenous governments and communities; and
  • supporting sound, ethical and evidence-based public sector decision making. 
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