At the end of 2023, two publications were issued that provide guidance on privacy issues, one from the federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) and the other from Quebec’s privacy regulator, the Commission d’accèss à l’information (CAI).

  1. Compliance with privacy laws when using generative artificial intelligence systems

On December 7, 2023, the OPC, in conjunction with its provincial and territorial counterparts, released a set of principles to “advance the responsible, trustworthy and privacy protective development and use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in Canada”.

Given the importance of privacy considerations, the joint document explains how key privacy principles apply to the development and use of generative AI products and services including:

  • Establishing legal authority for collecting and using personal information, and when relying on consent, ensuring that it is valid and meaningful;
  • Being open and transparent about the way information is used and the privacy risks involved;
  • Making AI tools explainable to users;
  • Developing safeguards for privacy rights; and
  • Limiting the sharing of personal, sensitive or confidential information.

We bring this to your attention because it seems that every day there is something new on generative AI and as interesting to some as all this may be, privacy concerns cannot be overlooked.

  1. Drafting a Privacy Policy

Though Quebec has its own privacy legislation, unlike Nova Scotia which is bound by PIPEDA, it is important for all organizations to have a privacy policy. And oftentimes, lawyers are asked to draft those policies.

In December 2023, CAI published a guide on drafting privacy policies for organizations that collect personal information by technological means such as a website or application. Though based on Quebec’s legislation and rules, the guide does contains useful information including tips on what should be included in a privacy policy. The official published guide is in French only but several law firms have issued unofficial English translations.