Navigating Quebec’s Data Privacy Modernization Act – Law 25

Navigating Quebec’s Data Privacy Modernization Act – Law 25

The time is now to add Data Privacy Tools to your digital analytics tech stack

Global data privacy regulations is one of the fastest evolving areas affecting digital marketing over the last few years, Canada seems next up to bat.   The province of Quebec in Canada, has emerged with its own distinct legislation, Law 25, also known as the Privacy Legislation Modernization Act. This comprehensive law introduces new concepts and stringent requirements, setting it apart from its counterparts like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).  Not only must businesses operating in the province of Quebec need to be well-versed in its nuances to ensure compliance, but Law 25 extends its reach to external entities processing the personal information of any Quebec residents

Please note that this post doesn’t provide legal advice, it is a summary of what has been read, sprinkled with my opinion.

After reading the articles and posts from well versed law firms and platforms for managing Privacy and Data Governance in this space, here is a snapshot of Law 25 as I wonder key questions:

What is Law 25 and is it mandatory only in Quebec?

Synonymous with Bill 64, Law 25, represents Quebec’s commitment to modernize its approach to data privacy.   The law’s requirements are introduced in three phases, each with specific deadlines to meet set out obligations, please refer to the formal legal document.

All external entities processing the personal information of any Quebec residents must comply. This inclusive scope implies that compliance is mandatory for organizations handling the data of nearly 9 million residents, without any minimum threshold!  There hasn’t been much more information about how this will be monitored or enforced.  As I read this requirement I think how it will affect digital marketing efforts. What happens when those who are Quebec residents are consuming digital media (i.e. visiting a website or completing a form) while outside the province, and don’t use their Quebec address. (Use cases, penalties and enforcement will be a separate blog post to come)

Key Features of Law 25 That Are Similar to GDPR:

  1. Explicit Opt-In Privacy Law:

    • Similar to the GDPR, Law 25 businesses must obtain explicit consent before deploying technologies, including cookies, for tracking personal information. Law 25 however distinguishes itself as the only explicit opt-in privacy law in North America.
  2. Mandatory Privacy Officer:

    • The appointment of a privacy officer is a pivotal requirement, mirroring the GDPR’s data protection officer role. This individual oversees compliance activities, including data subject access requests, data breach reporting, and privacy impact assessments.

Key Features That Distinguish Law 25 From Other Privacy laws:

  1. Private Right of Action:

    • Law 25 empowers citizens with a private right of action, enabling them to take legal action against businesses for breaches or infringements. Damages can start at $1,000 per individual, providing a unique avenue for individuals to seek recourse.
  2. Confidentiality by Default:

    • Inspired by the privacy by design concept, Law 25 mandates organizations to configure public-facing systems with the highest level of confidentiality by default. This aligns with the opt-in consent principle, ensuring data collection only with affirmative user consent.

Beyond these unique features, Law 25 incorporates several fundamental aspects found in many data privacy regulations worldwide. These include the requirement for privacy impact assessments under specific circumstances, standard data subject rights, and obligations for third-party data protection and international data transfers.

Law 25 vs. PIPEDA:

In comparing Law 25 with Canada’s overarching Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), the former emerges as a more robust and comprehensive regulation. It grants residents additional rights, imposes stricter consent requirements, and introduces more effective enforcement mechanisms.

As Quebec’s Law 25 is forcibly reshaping the data privacy landscape, businesses must proactively adapt to its unique requirements and truly prepare their digital implementation strategy.  The greatest offense that can be played right now is to ensure you have a privacy consent management tool in place.

Need more information on privacy consent management tools? Contact us.

By |2024-01-25T12:39:51-05:00January 25, 2024|0 Comments
Categories: Privacy

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