Will Canada follow the GDPR lead in privacy legislation?

Many business in Canada and the US have already updated their privacy policies to bring them into line with the General Data Protection Regulation legislation in the EU. While not everyone was happy about the new regulations, it may well be that Canadian websites who resisted will have to comply with similar regulations in the not too distant future.

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I don’t think this is a bad thing for consumers and the general public. They should be more aware of what data is collected as they surf the net or search for information, and if they so choose they should have the right to request that their information be deleted and to have that request honored.

I do think the GDPR goes too far, both in what they define as privacy data and in the penalties for breaching the act (they seem to have a special hate on for Google and Facebook). For example, most sites collect the IP addresses of visitors to their site purely for aggregate statistical reasons (e.g., to determine the general geographical locations of their visitors, which helps them to better target the marketing of their website). This data on its own does not and cannot identify a specific individual – in fact the only thing it identifies in the vast majority of cases is the internet service provider (ISP), and even then as often as not it may identify the correct city location of the visitor but rather the head office. For example, depending in the specific method used to identify IP location, I will often show up as the city of my ISP’s head office, some 450 kilometers away from my actual city. But the EU appears to define this as identifying information. I would hope that any future Canadian legislation will be a little more rational in drafting legislation and in policing it.

This site and all of the current clients of Psychlinks Web Services have been updated to bring them into line with the GDPR, as will all future clients, pending Canadian or US privacy legislation that might override the EU version.

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