ANDREA HOR­WATH

Pri­vacy an is­sue with par­ties

Toronto Sun - - NEWS -

Ontario’s pri­vacy com­mis­sioner is seek­ing leg­isla­tive changes that would give his of­fice over­sight of po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

Brian Beamish said Thurs­day that re­cent events have shed light on how po­lit­i­cal par­ties col­lect and use per­sonal in­for­ma­tion to tar­get peo­ple for po­lit­i­cal gain, of­ten with­out those peo­ple’s knowl­edge or con­sent.

The per­sonal in­for­ma­tion held by po­lit­i­cal par­ties can also be vul­ner­a­ble to cy­ber­se­cu­rity threats and pri­vacy breaches, but peo­ple af­fected by those breaches cur­rently have no re­course, he said.

Beamish said sub­ject­ing po­lit­i­cal par­ties to pri­vacy laws would help ad­dress the eth­i­cal and se­cu­rity risks as­so­ci­ated with how they col­lect and use per­sonal in­for­ma­tion.

“Up­dat­ing our ac­cess and pri­vacy laws is long over­due and nec­es­sary if they are to re­main rel­e­vant and in line with the in­for­ma­tion age,” he said in a state­ment.

The move comes af­ter Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive Leader Doug Ford came un­der fire dur­ing the Ontario elec­tion cam­paign over al­le­ga­tions his can­di­dates might have used stolen data to fur­ther their cause.

One Tory can­di­date re­signed shortly af­ter his for­mer em­ployer is­sued a state­ment about what it called an “in­ter­nal theft of cus­tomer data” af­fect­ing 60,000 peo­ple.

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