Important message - COVID-19

Bill 64, or Giving Quebecers full control over their personal data

 In Non classifié(e)

On June 12, 2020, the Minister responsible for Democratic Institutions, Electoral Reform and Access to Information introduced Bill 64, enacting the Act to modernize legislative provisions as regards the protection of personal information, which aims to significantly strengthen the personal information legislation currently in force in Quebec.

If enacted, this Act will have a profound impact on the regime protecting personal information in Quebec. Here is a summary of Bill 64’s main provision (for a more complete analysis, see the French version of our blog):

Notable impacts on companies and public organizations 

  • Companies operating in Quebec must destroy personal information when no longer needed for its legal and intended purposes. Every company must also appoint a person responsible for the protection of personal information within the organization.
  • The Bill requires companies to set up data collection systems with the highest level of confidentiality. In the event of a breach of confidentiality, companies must notify the Commission d’accès à l’information and affected individuals, as well as take all measures to mitigate damages. 

Important new rights for individuals 

  • The right to erase data, which allows individuals to have their personal data deleted or removed.
  • An individual’s right to access personal information about him or her in a structured technological format.

Amendments of penal provisions 

  • If the Bill is adopted as it stands, fines of $15,000 to $25 million or 4% of worldwide sales (whichever is greater) may be imposed on companies. For individuals, the fines range from $5,000 to $50,000.

Other significant impacts 

  • The Bill gives the Commission enhanced monitoring and intervention powers. 
  • Political parties, currently not subject to any law governing the protection of personal data (apart from the relevant minimal provisions of the Election Act), will now be subject to the Act respecting the protection of personal information in the private sector.