Canadian Lawyer

September 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 45 of 51

44 DATA PRIVACY SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL FEATURE Langlois lawyers weigh in on looming privacy legislation Cynthia Chassigneux and Caroline Deschênes, both partners at Langlois' Montréal office, discuss the status — and impact — of Personal Information and Data Protection Bill-64 (PL-64 Québec), federal Bill C11 and the EU's General Data Protection Regulation. Q: What's the current status of the three bills? A: One year after their introduction, Bills 64 (Québec) and C-11 (Canada) are still under discussion. While the future of Bill C-11 is uncertain, the study of Bill 64 will resume in mid-August in the National Assembly. It is therefore likely to be adopted by the end of 2021. For its part, the GDPR has been (fully) in effect since May 25, 2018. Q: What are you paying close attention to? A: Bill 64 should be welcomed as it modernizes, among other things, the Act respecting the protection of personal infor- mation in the private sector, adopted in 1994, by mirroring federal (PIPEDA) and provincial (Alberta and British Columbia) private sector legislation, as well as the GDPR. Examples include the appoint- ment of a Privacy Officer, the requirement to report privacy incidents, and the disclo- sure of personal information in the course of a commercial transaction. However, some amendments deserve special atten- tion. Among these are the changes with respect to: • consent and the specific purposes for which it must be given; • the information to be provided to the persons concerned regarding identifi- cation, location or profiling techniques or the automated processing of their personal information to make a deci- sion about them; • privacy impact assessments that must be conducted, particularly for the disclosure of personal information outside Québec; • the anonymization, de-identification or de-indexation of personal information. Q: What should companies be paying attention to? A: In Québec, companies should be prepared to: • appoint a Privacy Officer; • establish and implement policies and practices for the governance of the personal information they collect, use, disclose and retain and, by the same token, update their contracts with their suppliers, subcontractors and others, as well as the consent forms to be provided to their clients and their privacy policy; • establish a mechanism for conducting privacy impact assessments in different circumstances or an action plan to respond quickly to privacy incidents involving personal information that they may encounter; • inform their clients if, for instance, they use functions that allow their clients to be identified, located or profiled, or if they make decisions based exclusively on automated processing; • review their in-house training plan. Q: What advice are you giving clients? A: If we had one piece of advice for our clients, it would be this: do not wait for Bill 64 to be adopted and come into force before considering the changes it makes to the protection of personal information. Indeed, it is preferable to consider these amend- ments now to avoid, to the greatest extent possible, being in contravention of them — especially since Bill 64 enhances corpo- rate accountability by introducing a system of administrative monetary penalties and increasing the amount of the fines that can be imposed. Q: Final thoughts? A: A number of concerns have been raised regarding some of the provisions of Bill 64. It will be interesting to see whether these will be considered when the Committee on Institutions reconvenes at the end of August. It will also be important to see how Bill C-11 evolves and what other provinces are doing in this area. Brought to you by Langlois Lawyers is Québec's largest independent law firm, with nearly 150 practising lawyers based in Montréal and the city of Québec, and close to 300 team members working to provide our clientele with a complete range of high-quality legal services in civil and commercial litigation, business law, and labour and employment law. Having earned a reputation for excellence, the firm received numerous distinctions in 2020, which include being named Regional Law Firm of the Year in Canada by Chambers and Partners and ranking first among the Top 10 Québec Regional Law Firms according to Canadian Lawyer. Cynthia Chassigneux Caroline Deschênes

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