Canada’s Digital Charter: Trust in a digital world

Building a foundation of trust

Canadians increasingly rely on digital technology to connect with each other, to work and innovate. That’s why the Government of Canada is committed to making sure Canadians can benefit from the latest technologies, knowing that their privacy is safe and secure, and that companies are acting responsibly.

Canadians must be able to trust that their personal information and that of their children is protected, that their data will not be misused, and that organizations operating in this space communicate in a simple and straightforward manner with their users. This trust is the foundation on which our digital and data-driven economy will be built.

Canada’s Digital Charter sets out principles to ensure that privacy is protected, data-driven innovation is human-centred, and Canadian organizations can lead the world in innovations that fully embrace the benefits of the digital economy.

Bill C-27: Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2022

In June 2022, the government proposed the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2022 , which would modernize the framework for the protection of personal information in the private sector and introduce new rules for the development and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI). This legislation takes a number of important steps to ensure that Canadians have confidence that their privacy is respected and that AI is used responsibly, while unlocking innovation that promotes a strong economy, including:

  • increasing control and transparency when Canadians’ personal information is handled by companies;
  • giving Canadians the freedom to move their information from one organization to another in a secure manner;
  • ensuring that when consent is withdrawn or information is no longer necessary, Canadians can demand that their information be destroyed;
  • providing for the strongest fines among G7 privacy laws—with fines of up to 5% of revenue or $25 million, whichever is greater, for the most serious offences; and
  • ensuring companies meet the highest standards of responsibility when developing and deploying AI systems in Canada.

The 10 principles of the Charter

1. Universal Access:

All Canadians will have equal opportunity to participate in the digital world and the necessary tools to do so, including access, connectivity, literacy and skills.

2. Safety and Security:

Canadians will be able to rely on the integrity, authenticity and security of the services they use and should feel safe online.

3. Control and Consent:

Canadians will have control over what data they are sharing, who is using their personal data and for what purposes, and know that their privacy is protected.

4. Transparency, Portability and Interoperability:

Canadians will have clear and manageable access to their personal data and should be free to share or transfer it without undue burden.

5. Open and Modern Digital Government:

Canadians will be able to access modern digital services from the Government of Canada, which are secure and simple to use.

6. A Level Playing Field:

The Government of Canada will ensure fair competition in the online marketplace to facilitate the growth of Canadian businesses and affirm Canada’s leadership on digital and data innovation, while protecting Canadian consumers from market abuses.

7. Data and Digital for Good:

The Government of Canada will ensure the ethical use of data to create value, promote openness and improve the lives of people—at home and around the world.

8. Strong Democracy:

The Government of Canada will defend freedom of expression and protect against online threats and disinformation designed to undermine the integrity of elections and democratic institutions.

9. Free from Hate and Violent Extremism:

Canadians can expect that digital platforms will not foster or disseminate hate, violent extremism or criminal content.

10. Strong Enforcement and Real Accountability:

There will be clear, meaningful penalties for violations of the laws and regulations that support these principles.

 

The Charter in action


What we heard during the National Digital and Data Consultations

Canada's Digital Charter is founded on ten principles that reflect what we have heard from Canadians, including during the National Digital and Data Consultations. Held between June and October 2018, the Consultations included 30 roundtable discussions hosted by Six Digital Innovation Leaders across the country, engaging with more than 550 Canadians. Through our website and online platforms, Canadians shared 1,900 ideas.

Image with quotes from what we heard, during the National Digital and Data Consultations. Long description below.
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What we heard

“We must ensure that while we support the greater use of data, we are also protecting the trust and privacy of Canadians.”
“To truly be a nation of innovators, we must build a culture of innovation, one which embraces resilience and risk.”

Read more: link pointing to the page: Canada’s Digital Charter in Action: A Plan by Canadians, for Canadians