Digital Charter is ‘talk,’ won’t provide regulation on Sidewalk Labs

Ontario’s former information and privacy commissioner says the Digital Charter doesn’t provide regulation for issues surrounding Sidewalk Toronto’s smart city project Quayside.

In an interview with Reuters, Ann Cavoukian said the charter is “intended to provide comfort to citizens of Canada regarding privacy, but it’s talk.”

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains introduced the charter earlier this month, but was clear in stating that it wasn’t a new set of rules but rather a 10 point-principled guideline that would help regulators shape legislation around data collection and digital platforms.

Cavoukian had resigned as Sidewalk Labs’ privacy advisor last year. Sidewalk Labs, a sister company of Google, has been faced with criticism especially with regards to how it would collect residents’ data and who would own this data.

Politicians and critics were also wary of the project after news revealed that Sidewalk Labs claimed it intended on benefiting from the potential increase in the value of the land after other developers built their projects.

Sidewalk Labs’ spokesperson Keerthana Rang told Reuters that the company welcomed the charter and would work with the federal government.

Source: Reuters