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2nd Session, 36th Parliament,
48-49 Elizabeth II, 1999-2000
senate of canada
An Act to guarantee the human right to privacy
WHEREAS privacy is a basic human right of every individual and a fundamental value reflected in international human rights instruments to which Canada is a signatory;
AND WHEREAS privacy is an interest in the public good that underpins the relations of mutual trust and confidence that are fundamental to the Canadian social fabric;
AND WHEREAS privacy is essential to the preservation of democracy and the full and meaningful enjoyment and exercise of many of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
1. This Act may be cited as the Privacy Rights Charter.
2. The purpose of this Act is to give effect to the principles that
(a) privacy is essential to an individual’s dignity, integrity, autonomy, well-being and freedom, and to the full and meaningful exercise of human rights and freedoms;
(b) there is a legal right to privacy;
(c) an infringement of the right to privacy, to be lawful, must be justifiable.
Right to privacy
3. Every individual has a right to privacy, including
(a) physical privacy;
(b) freedom from surveillance;
(c) freedom from monitoring or interception of their private communications; and
(d) freedom from the collection, use and disclosure of their personal information.
4. (1) Every individual is entitled to claim and enforce their right to privacy and to refuse to unjustifiably infringe the right to privacy of another individual.
(2) No person shall take or threaten to take reprisal measures against an individual who claims or enforces their right to privacy or who refuses to unjustifiably infringe the right to privacy of another individual.
(3) No person shall unjustifiably infringe an individual’s right to privacy.
5. (1) A limit on or interference with an individual’s privacy infringes that individual’s right to privacy.
(2) An infringement of an individual’s right to privacy is justifiable if the infringement is reasonable and can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
(3) An infringement is justifiable if:
(a) it is lawful;
(b) it is necessary to achieve an objective that is compelled by the need to respect another individual human right or another interest in the public good and is sufficiently important to warrant infringing the right to privacy;
(c) the objective cannot be achieved by another measure that infringes privacy less; and
(d) the importance of the objective and the beneficial effects of the infringement outweigh the detrimental effects on privacy.
(4) An interference with an individual’s privacy does not infringe that individual’s right to privacy if the interference is done with the free and fully informed consent of the individual.
Review of legislation and regulations
6. The Minister of Justice shall
(a) in accordance with such regulations as may be prescribed by the Governor in Council, examine every bill introduced in or presented to either House of Parliament by a Minister of the Crown, and every regulation transmitted to the Clerk of the Privy Council for registration under the Statutory Instruments Act, in order to ascertain whether any of its provisions are inconsistent with the purposes and provisions of this Act;
(b) report any inconsistency to the Clerks of each House of Parliament at the first convenient opportunity, and publish the report in the Canada Gazette; and
(c) notify the Privacy Commissioner of Canada of any inconsistency at the first convenient opportunity and, upon the request of the Privacy Commissioner, consult with and receive advice from the Commissioner or a person authorized by the Commissioner concerning the inconsistency.
7. (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) prescribing the procedure for examining bills and regulations under section 6;
(b) codifying practices that are justifiable infringements under this Act; and
(c) generally, for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
(2) An infringement done in good faith upon the basis of a regulation made under paragraph 7(1)(b) and in respect of which no inconsistency has been reported under section 6 is deemed to be justified.
8. (1) Every person who enters into a contract, agreement or other arrangement with another person or with an organization must require the other person or organization to comply with the provisions of this Act in the performance of the contract, agreement or arrangement.
(2) In this section, “organization” includes an institution, an association, a partnership and a trade union.
9. This Act applies to all persons and matters coming within the legislative authority of Parliament.
Binding on Her Majesty
10. This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada.
11. (1) No provision of any other Act shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from any provision of this Act.
(2) In the event of any inconsistency or conflict between this Act and any other Act enacted before or after this Act comes into force, unless the other Act expressly declares that it operates despite this Act, notwithstanding any other provision of that Act, this Act prevails to the extent of the inconsistency or conflict.
Coming into force
12. Subsection 11(2) comes into force on the day that is one year after the day on which this Act is assented to.
Published under authority of the Senate of Canada