moved that Bill C-27, An Act to enact the Consumer Privacy Protection Act, the Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal Act and the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act and to make consequential and related amendments to other Acts be read the second time and referred to a committee.
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleagues on the other side of the House for their enthusiasm this morning. I am extremely proud to speak today to Bill C-27, a bill to implement Canada's digital charter 2022. This bill will help us better protect our children in the digital age.
I am also proud because our government continues to show leadership in an ever-changing world. In 2019, we launched Canada's Digital Charter, a set of 10 core principles intended to build trust in a digital world.
Today, we are putting those principles into action by proposing ambitious and comprehensive reforms for Canada's privacy framework, including stronger protections for children.
More importantly, Bill C‑27 recognizes that protecting personal information is not enough. Canadians also deserve to know that they can trust the innovative technologies that shape our economy and our society. With this bill, we will be one of the first countries in the world to create a framework for the responsible use of artificial intelligence.
For Canadians to further prosper from the digital economy, we need to ensure they have confidence and trust in the digital platforms, confidence that our advantage in cutting-edge technology does not come at the price of privacy and safety, confidence that their personal information is protected and confidence that we are taking the extra steps to protect our children.
Children interact with the digital world just like adults do, but our government believes that their privacy deserves special protections. Just as Canadians need to have confidence that new technologies are being developed and deployed responsibly, businesses need clear rules so that they can effectively deliver the products and services Canadians want and need. In today's digital economy, trust has never been more important.
As my hon. colleagues know, Canada is a nation that depends on foreign trade. We live in a world where data are constantly going back and forth across geographical boundaries. Economic activity is increasingly reliant on the analysis and exchange of personal information and data. It also relies on the development of technology, such as artificial intelligence, that can be deployed anywhere in the world.
Although these technologies can improve our quality of life and make our societies and economies smarter and greener, we recognize that Canadians deserve to have their private information properly protected. We recognize that a responsible approach to artificial intelligence is crucial to building a more prosperous Canada.
What is in the digital charter implementation act of 2022? Let me turn to some of the specifics.
The bill introduces three new key pieces of legislation. The first is the consumer privacy protection act. It would replace part 1 of the existing Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, or what we otherwise know in Canada as PIPEDA. The second is the personal information and data protection tribunal act, which would establish the personal information and data protection tribunal as a key part of Canada's privacy enforcement regime. Third, this bill would introduce the artificial intelligence and data act, a new law that would set a foundation for regulating the design, development, deployment and operations of AI systems. It would also criminalize intentional acts that cause serious harm to individuals.
Our previous privacy legislation, PIPEDA, has served us well. For more than 20 years, businesses have relied on its principles to guide their use of personal information, even as technologies have changed dramatically. Canadians have been secure in the knowledge that their information has been protected. However, we know there is significant room for improvement.
The world now is a very different place than it was 20 years ago. Twenty years ago, iPhones did not exist, and neither did Facebook, TikTok and other social media. Those in this room who are old enough will recognize what I am saying this morning. It is therefore urgent that we update our laws to be in sync with the times.
The amount of data that Canadians create and share every day has grown exponentially. Given that reality, our legislation must adapt to the latest technologies and business practices.
Canadians have told us time and time again that we need more powers to enforce the law, as well as tougher penalties for those who commit the most serious offences. That is exactly what the consumer privacy protection act would do.
The legislation would strengthen privacy protection for Canadians by giving the Privacy Commissioner of Canada significantly more powers, better protecting the data of Canadians, especially minors, and creating a clear set of rules to encourage Canadian organizations to innovate while using data responsibly. Together with the personal information and data protection tribunal act, it would introduce a new enforcement regime to hold organizations accountable for how they handle personal information.
Specifically, it would increase control and transparency when Canadians' personal information is handled by companies. It would give Canadians the freedom to delete their data, as well as move their information from one organization to another in a secure manner. It would provide the Privacy Commissioner with broad powers, including the ability to order a company to stop collecting data or using personal information. It would also establish significant financial consequences for non-compliant organizations, among some of the toughest penalties in the G7.
We heard from many stakeholders on the importance of privacy reform and got specific feedback for the effort we put forward as a government in the last Parliament, including from the Privacy Commissioner. We listened, and our bill is better for it, balancing strong privacy protections with responsible innovation. This bill reflects and builds on the strengths of prior work, but also ensures that we are responding to new realities, as Canadians would expect from the House.
For example, the Privacy Commissioner asked for greater discretion and power to ensure that his office would have the ability to prioritize the most important issues. We agreed. At the same time, we recognized that the needs of smaller organizations for timely guidance and advice are real. For this reason, the CPPA would enable the Privacy Commissioner to prioritize organizations with the greatest needs when it comes to providing them with advice, while also supporting our small and medium-sized businesses so they can comply with this important legislation.
We heard from organizations that said they needed flexibility about data use in order to be innovative and competitive, arguing that the new exceptions to consent proposed in a previous bill were either too narrow or too broad and were potentially susceptible to abuse. For this reason, the proposed new privacy law includes a new limiting exception to consent for activities in which an organization has a legitimate interest. This new limited exception would include a strong backstop to ensure that organizations act responsibly.
Let me be clear. This would be a strongly enforced mechanism to allow for innovation within particular parameters. It is an approach similar to what is found in privacy laws in both the EU and Singapore, which are considered best in class.
We also heard from many stakeholders, including esteemed colleagues here in the House, who urged us to go further when it came to the protection of children. They were right, and this is the section that I am most proud of in the bill. It is why the new privacy protection act would hold organizations to a higher standard when it comes to protecting the personal information of minors.
Specifically, it would define their information as sensitive, requiring a different level of assessment and protection by the companies that use such information. This would help determine whether a company's reason for using personal information is appropriate, what type of consent they must seek, the strengths of safeguards that must be used to protect the information and how long it can be kept. Finally, the bill would also give parents and minors more power over this information, including the ability to have it deleted.
This bill has so much more, and I urge every member in the House to seize this moment.