Chief Electoral Officer, Pierre Reid, participated in the particular consultations on Bill No. 64 and submitted a written brief on this matter on September 22, 2020. This bill proposes amendments to several acts, including the Act respecting the protection of personal information in the private sector and the Election Act.
During his visit, Mr. Reid recommended that provincial and municipal political parties be subject to the same privacy obligations as private corporations. He wants parties to make it their duty to inform each individual of the specific purpose for which they are collecting information about him or her, to limit their use to that purpose and to destroy the information when it is no longer needed.
Bill No. 64 provides that political parties are subject to certain provisions of the Act respecting the protection of personal information in the private sector. We do, however, recommend that more be done to protect the personal information held by political parties. We would like the framework to apply to all personal information held by political parties, including both the personal information of voters and that of political party activists, volunteers and staff.
The protection of personal information is something we have been committed to for many years. The ongoing discussion on this bill provides a good opportunity to review the Election Act to better protect the confidentiality of lists of electors. For example, we recommend that lists of electors be shared less frequently with political parties. We also recommend that some sensitive voter information, such as date of birth and gender, no longer be shared with them.