Online privacy legislation must protect our digital DNA

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2021-04-19 12:33 [p.5786]

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies and I may be known around this place to rarely agree with each other, but I want to salute him for his leadership on this work. We are 100% aligned in that we need to do much more to, in his words, deal with the appropriation without consent of our digital DNA. I agree with him: It is unfortunate this is going to the ethics committee instead of industry, but it is one of those files that has feet in both committees.

What does he think would be the most important amendment to make to this legislation, or should we scrap it and start over as some critics are suggesting?

Bob Zimmer (Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies)
2021-04-19 12:34 [p.5786]

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for her comments and kind words.

The most important thing would be to recognize privacy as a fundamental right or a property right. It needs to be recognized with that significance. The rest comes from that being at the top of the pyramid, because if that fundamental ideal is not there many other reasons can be made not to legislate appropriately. However, if that is the foundation we have a great place to go with the recognition of how serious data is. It really is our digital DNA. We need to protect it as such, and apply rules to big tech and other companies so they use it appropriately.