moved for leave to introduce Bill C-580, An Act to amend the Privacy Act (personal information — loss or unauthorized access or disclosure).
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce my bill to update the Privacy Act, which dates back to 1985. This is the second bill I have introduced to strengthen our outdated privacy laws.
This time my focus is the public sector. I am proposing two measures: develop a mechanism to require mandatory disclosure within a reasonable period of time when information is lost or compromised, and give the commissioner the power to order government agencies to comply with her recommendations.
In December 2012, under the Conservative government, the Department of Employment and Social Development lost information pertaining to half a million Canadians. Between 2002 and 2012, there were more than 3,000 violations. The problem was not fixed, and instead it got worse. We now hear that in 2013 alone, there were over 3,800 violations or breaches of personal information at Canadian agencies, and only 170 of those were reported to the commissioner.
The government is dragging its feet and refuses to update laws, and Canadians are the ones suffering the consequences. The NDP is fighting to make suggestions and propose meaningful measures to ensure that safeguards reflect current challenges. A look at our government agencies is long overdue, but the government does not take the privacy of the people it is supposed to protect seriously.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)