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Privacy czar decries ‘gap’ in law for political parties handling personal info

OTTAWA — Canada's privacy watchdog says the fact federal laws on handling personal information do not cover political parties amounts to "an important gap" that could jeopardize the integrity of the electoral process.


March 26, 2018
By The Canadian Press

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In an interview with The Canadian Press, privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien says there needs to be a law governing the use of personal data by parties to prevent manipulation of the information to influence an election.

Therrien’s comments come as he begins investigating the alleged unauthorized access and use of some 50 million Facebook profiles — possibly including those of Canadians —  by a firm that helped crunch data for Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential campaign.

Therrien says his officials will meet Facebook representatives in coming days to determine whether the data of Canadian users was involved.

If Canadian information was harvested, the commissioner’s office will look at whether Facebook respected the federal privacy law covering private companies.

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Therrien says this week’s events have shown that weak privacy safeguards can have serious effects that go beyond the commercial realm, potentially distorting the democratic process.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2018