Privacy Commissioner Withdraws Transborder Consultation, Suggests Proactive Audits

On May 22, 2019, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (“OPC”) held its annual forum in Toronto, Ontario. Federal Commissioner Daniel Therrien headed the annual forum along with his provincial counterparts Jill Clayton, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, and Michael McEvoy, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia.

The forum provides the OPC with an opportunity to update practitioners and stakeholders on current and upcoming privacy matters as well provides an opportunity to discuss and share perspectives. Not surprisingly, the topic of transborder data flows dominated the discussion. Here are three key takeaways from the forum.

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Privacy Implications For Cannabis Businesses

Introduction

On October 17, 2018, the Federal Cannabis Act, S.C. 2018, c. 16 (“Act”) came into force and cannabis became legal across Canada. The Act regulates production, distribution and promotion of cannabis in Canada. Accompanying the legalization of cannabis has been a surge of new businesses to capitalize on the opportunity.

Most discussion of the Act and related business centers around the criminal, regulatory and employment implications of the legalization of cannabis, which are not insignificant. However, another aspect which has not been as widely considered is the privacy implications of cannabis businesses as they launch into selling cannabis and collecting customer data, including personal information. 

Cannabis and privacy

As cannabis businesses become visible members of the Canadian commercial sector, they must be aware of and be compliant with privacy law requirements with respect to collection, use and disclosure of personal information (typically customer information, but this could include employee information as well).

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