Privacy commissioner calls for more legal remedies to harmful personal information

TORONTO — Canada’s privacy commissioner says he believes Parliament should put in place new legislated remedies to deal with potential harms from having personal information widely and easily available on the internet.

Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien says Canada doesn’t explicitly recognize a “right to be forgotten,” as in the European Union.

But Therrien thinks Canada’s privacy laws could be used to compel companies to de-index information in their databases.

De-indexing information would make it more difficult to find without removing it from the database.

Opponents of Therrien’s position have argued that it opens the door to other problems, such as giving people too much opportunity to remove information about themselves simply because it’s embarrassing.

His comments come as Facebook revealed the data of more than 620,000 Canadians was likely shared improperly with a political consulting company that is at the centre of an international uproar over the use of social-media information for political purposes.

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