January 30, 2020 - Private Sector

Need to Overhaul Online Canadian Regulatory Environment, According to the Broadcast and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel

Yesterday, the Broadcast and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel released its final report recommending sweeping changes to how the online landscape is regulated in Canada.  Among its key recommendations for modernizing the legislation governing Canada’s communications sector, namely the Broadcasting Act, the Telecommunications Act, and the Radiocommunication Act, are the following: 

•           A focus on users. The top priority here would be a universal service objective enshrined in the Telecommunications Act, including as a must affordable universal access to broadband, and a policy objective of an open internet. In terms of privacy, the panel recommends that legislation include a commitment to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of customer information and that PIPEDA be updated as necessary to keep up with global standards.

•           Accelerating the Roll-Out of Advanced Networks. According to the panel, networks must be safe and secure and there must be a streamlined approach to the approval of an expanded range of telecommunications equipment needed for 5G and other technologies in the future, all the while ensuring that privacy, security and accessibility standards are adhered to.

•           Reimagining the Role of the Regulator. Along with a recommended name change to the Canadian Communications Commission (CCC), the panel foresees a more proactive role for the CRTC, including the ability to share expertise with the Competition Bureau. They acknowledge the increased resources needed for this expanded role but expect these to be generated by registration fees paid by all media undertakings operating in Canada under their new framework.

There are many recommendations packed into this report, with potentially far-reaching implications for privacy and data management. These will be explored in-depth on our next Monthly Privacy Call. Register here.