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Data protection provisions of Pacific trade deal raise questions

One privacy advocate wonders whether the wording would truly help protect sensitive personal data.


OTTAWA — A provision of the newly forged Pacific Rim trade deal would allow the federal or provincial governments to insist that a computer server be hosted on Canadian soil to achieve a public policy goal.

Still, one privacy advocate wonders whether the wording would truly help protect sensitive personal data.

Vincent Gogolek of the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association says the group has questions about how and when the protections might apply.

A draft text of the deal made public today says parties can require that computing facilities be located on their soil to achieve a legitimate public policy objective.

But the measure cannot be a trade restriction in disguise, nor can it be greater than required to achieve the public policy goal.

Gogolek says it’s difficult to tell whether that would be enough to shield certain sensitive information such as health or financial data from the prying eyes of foreign agencies by hosting it in Canada.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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