Protection of personal information – CPAs call for support for the public and organizations
Montreal, February 10, 2021 – As the National Assembly pursues a clause-by-clause review of Bill 64 on the protection of personal information, the CPA Order is asking for a clear and up-to-date legislative framework and guidance to help citizens and organizations understand their new rights and obligations.
“To ensure the success of this reform which involves a fundamental culture shift, the Commission d’accès à l’information must have the human and financial resources to guide, empower and help the public and organizations take possession of their new rights and meet their new obligations,” said Geneviève Mottard, CPA, CA, President and CEO of the Order.
Without challenging the bill’s merits, the professional order questions its underlying approach and the principles it advances and has a number of recommendations for MNAs on implementing and aligning the bill with the legislation of our economic partners.
- THE PACE OF IMPLEMENTATION AND THE PENALTY SYSTEM
The Order recommends adjusting the coming into force of the bill and the related administrative penalties according to the size of an organization and the nature of its operations, to help businesses with limited expertise or financial resources comply with their new obligations. Achieving the bill’s objectives should not be compromised by a regulatory and administrative burden that reduces the productivity and competitiveness of organizations.
- COEXISTENCE OF THE QUEBEC LEGISLATION AND THAT OF OTHER JURISDICTIONS
The Order considers the requirement to ensure that personal information communicated outside Quebec has the same legal protection as if it were kept in Quebec is very restrictive in a context where business and professional activities have no borders. To avoid hindering economic exchange and placing Quebec organizations, particularly SMEs, in an untenable situation, the largest possible number of legal frameworks of the provinces, territories and states they do business with must be reviewed by the Commission d’accès à l’information and the findings must be made available to organizations. The long-term solution will be to adopt international data governance and privacy standards.
Lastly, the Order said that the establishment of basic privacy principles by Bill 64 is a necessary step in guiding businesses that have been slow to capitalize on the digital age. However, if Quebec’s goal is to be at the forefront of a connected and innovative society, all digital information should eventually be regulated.
About the Quebec CPA Order
The Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec has 40,000 members and 5,000 future CPAs, making it the third largest professional order in Quebec. The Order ensures the protection of the public and the visibility of the profession. It represents all areas of expertise of the accounting profession, including financial reporting, management accounting, strategy and governance, audit and assurance, finance and taxation.
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Advisor, Public Relations and Societal Communications
Quebec CPA Order
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