The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada seeks input on cross-border data transfers

April 23, 2019

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) is shifting gears on its position on the transfer of data across international borders and is asking Canadians for their input.

The OPC is now arguing that individuals should be given the opportunity to provide their consent before having their data transferred to another country for processing. As University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist says, this “signals a major shift in its position on data transfers, indicating that it now believes that cross-border disclosures of personal information require prior consent”.

Before this, no specific consent was required to transfer data across borders. The OPC’s 2009 guidelines stated that, so long as “the information is being used for the purpose it was originally collected, additional consent for the transfer is not required”.

With the increased use of telematics in vehicles and the integrated cross-border supply chain, this change in policy is bound to have an impact on the automotive aftermarket.

The OPC is giving Canadians the opportunity to offer their input on this policy shift. Consultations are open until June 4, 2019.

Learn more information about the policy change and the consultation process at

You can also read Michael Geist’s summary at .


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