July 25th, 2019 - 6:45pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 25, 2019
MASSE CALLS FOR REFORM & MODERNIZATION OF CANADA’S PRIVACY & CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWS AFTER EQUIFAX SETTLEMENT FIASCO
Canadians received no money while Americans got hundreds of millions
WINDSOR, ON – Brian Masse M.P. (Windsor West), NDP Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Critic reiterated his demand that a complete reform and modernization of Canada’s privacy and consumer protection laws needs to be done immediately in light of yet another example of their inadequacies with the revelation of the Equifax data breach settlement in the United States.
“This is just another example of more significant enforcement actions by US regulators which highlights the deficiencies and shortcomings of our outdated and inadequate regulations and laws,” Masse stated. “I have called for reforms and introduced a digital bill of rights almost a year and half ago. The Liberals have done nothing for four years while the data breaches and the privacy violations have become almost routine occurrences.”
Released on Monday the agreement revealed that the company will pay a $175 million fine to the states and $100 million to the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It will create a $300 million to $425 million fund to compensate victims depending on how many victims access it as well making consumers eligible for 10 years of free credit monitoring from Equifax. The Canadian settlement announced on April 9, 2019, which involved 19,000 victims, was just a compliance agreement with the Privacy Commissioner and involved no monetary penalties. Another example of the discrepancy between US and Canadian regulations is the case of Facebook where this week the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has imposed a fine $ 5 Billion on the company while back on April 25, 2019 the Canadian Privacy Commissioner announced it was going to federal court to impose actions on Facebook since it lacked the power to enforce compliance or levy penalties. The Privacy Commissioner called on the government to give the agency the required powers to act.
“What is a stark contrast is that the US is considering even more stringent regulations and oversight while the Liberals have done nothing in four years,” Masse stated. US Senator Warner has introduced The Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act would provide significant compensation to consumers for stolen data, establish mandatory penalties for data breaches, and empower the FTC with direct supervisory authority over data security. Had the bill been in effect at the time of the 2017 Equifax breach, the company would have had to pay at least $1.5 billion to victims.
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