How will the new Quebec privacy law affect marketers?

Quebec Privacy Law Announcement Summary:

  • The province of Quebec announced a new privacy law would be tabled in the upcoming weeks. 
  • The new law will borrow the best practices from other jurisdictions such as the EU. 
  • The government wants to improve consent so consumers have a better idea of how their data is being captured and used. 
  • Quebec is looking at increasing financial penalties for companies that do not comply with the new law.

Quebec’s new data privacy law is on its way. The need for a modernized privacy law should come as no surprise: big tech is tracking your every click, search, and download, and in some cases, information is being resold to third-parties and used for advertising. 

The Province of Quebec has decided to do something about it. 

What Quebec’s new data privacy law could mean for consumers?

Last week, the provincial government announced a new privacy law would be tabled in the National Assembly in a few weeks. The bill will look to give some powers back to the individual consumer, borrowing the best standards from GDPR.

“The law will give back [to the citizen] control of his data,” said the Minister of Justice, Sonia LeBel. “We are moving towards European models, and this is what is recognized as the most advanced.”

The new privacy law comes at a time when an increasing number of consumers are worried about the growing number of personal data leaks and how their information is being collected and used. 

How will the new privacy law affect businesses in the province?

As the bill has not been tabled yet, it is too early to tell precisely how consumer privacy will change in the province. But what we learned from the government’s announcement last week is the concept of consent will be modernized and become a cornerstone of the law. 

Based on GDPR’s standards, companies would have to use plain language in their consent text, and give specific consent to the consumer to better control the usage of their data.

In addition to better data standards, the government is looking at increasing financial penalties for companies that do not comply with the new law.

Seeing as the current law dates back to the 1990s, it’s about time the government made some updates to modernize privacy laws in the province. 

Other jurisdictions will likely start modernizing their consumer privacy legislation soon as well. Most recently, we saw California implement a new law, the California Consumer Privacy Act, giving more rights back to the consumer.

What can businesses in Quebec do right now to prepare?

As we don’t have all of the information yet, it’s difficult to say exactly what businesses need to do or change to follow the new privacy rules. 

The most important thing is to keep an eye on what’s happening and reach out to your vendors to make sure everyone is ready to make updates once the rules come out. Don’t be afraid to ask your vendors the tough question: “Are you reselling my customer data?” 

If you’re one of the companies that collect customer data and resells it to third-parties, well, it might be time to start looking at a new business model / revenue stream because that won’t work anymore in Quebec.

We, at Raange, believe that transparency is core to good business.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

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