David Flaherty, Reflections on Reform of the Federal Privacy Act
Comment by: Michael Geist
Workshop draft abstract:
While the Privacy Act was accurately regarded as a progressive privacy statement in the early 1980s, it must now be considered an outdated Act that no longer properly regulates how federal institutions collect, use, retain and disclose personal information. Reform of the Privacy Act should be made to appeal unanimously to the media, public servants, the political elite, the government of the day, and Members of Parliament. A primary goal of this article is to advance thinking about how to motivate such necessary change and to advance the cause of reform of the Privacy Act on the basis that such analysis and transformation is long overdue. And, in order to have robust implementation of such a reformed law, Parliament also has to mandate a structure for privacy risk management in each federal institution, including, inter alia, the establishment of Chief Privacy Officers, Privacy Impact Assessments, and on-line privacy training.