To: The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Democratic Institutions
CC The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Today, we are asking you fulfill your role as Minister of Democratic Institutions, and take steps to ensure that people in Canada’s personal information is protected by our political parties.
Canada’s political parties must be made subject to federal privacy laws in order to protect our privacy and build trust in our democratic processes.
Our current rules provide no laws or oversight governing how political parties collect, use or store our data – and no requirements for them to disclose if our sensitive political information has been hacked or breached. This is unacceptable behaviour from those who seek to represent Canadians, and run our democratic institutions. We deserve better.
This view is supported by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Daniel Therrien, who has stated that “Information about our political views is highly sensitive and it’s clearly unacceptable that federal and provincial parties are not subject to privacy laws.”
Polling commissioned by OpenMedia shows that a large majority — 72% — of people in Canada support changing the law so that political parties follow the same privacy rules as private companies.
Developing specific privacy rules for political parties, or making them subject to PIPEDA, is a straightforward fix to this problem that has also been endorsed by MPs from the three major parties on the Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics Committee. This is not a partisan issue; it’s common sense.
People in Canada need assurances that our political parties’ interests will not take precedence over our privacy and security. And with federal elections due in 2019, we need to safeguard our democracy and protect against undue influence stemming from online privacy violations.
Please commit to making political parties subject to federal privacy laws.
[Your Name Will Appear Here]