rules and regulations

Insurance industry trade group, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA), is calling on governments to harmonize their consumer privacy rules in order to prevent confusion and needless compliance costs.

In a submission to an Ontario government consultation on private sector privacy, the CLHIA argued that it’s imperative for the federal and provincial governments to coordinate their privacy regulations.

Harmonization between the levels of government “is crucial for ensuring that people can protect and have control of their personal information while also creating a competitive business environment conducive to innovation and consumer choice,” the CLHIA said.

The group also said that it would be “burdensome” for businesses, particularly smaller businesses, “to learn and adapt to rules under a new provincial regime.” What’s more, the CLHIA added that doing so would further complicate an already “inefficient patchwork of privacy legislation” for national organizations.

Potential side effects could be a greater regulatory burden for private sector organizations as well as higher administration costs, and reduced competitiveness and innovation.

As a result, the CLHIA called on Ontario to wait until federal privacy legislation is revised — it’s currently under review — before going ahead with its own reforms.

“The industry supports private sector privacy legislation that ensures Canadians can control how their personal information is used while enabling commercial organizations to use their information for purposes that are reasonable and appropriate,” the organization said, adding that this balance exists in the federal PIPEDA legislation.

“We do not believe additional provincial legislation is required to supplement the federal PIPEDA,”  the CLHIA said.