Skip to content.

The Seven Principles of Meaningful Consent

Meaningful consent is now a reality. As of January 1, 2019, under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), organizations must clearly explain what information is being collected, why it is collected, how the organization uses it, who it will be shared with, and describe any potential harm that may arise from sharing the personal information.

New guidelines clarify requirements for obtaining meaningful consent under PIPEDA by describing seven principles to follow in seeking meaningful consent:

  1. Emphasize key elements. Individuals should be able to quickly review the significant factors impacting their privacy decisions during their decision-making process (e.g. what, why, how, who, potential harm).
  2. Allow individuals to control the level of detail they get and when. The key elements should be provided to individuals in an easily-digestible format, and individuals should be able to control the level of detail provided.
  3. Provide individuals with clear options to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Individuals cannot be required to consent to the collection, use or disclosure of personal information beyond what is necessary to provide the product or service; individuals must be provided with a clear choice.
  4. Be innovative and creative. Organizations are encouraged to take advantage of dynamic digital platforms and a variety of communication tools in presenting their policies to individuals.
  5. Consider the consumer’s perspective. Information provided during the consent process must be user-friendly and understandable from the point-of-view of the target audience. Organizations must use clear explanations, appropriate language and ensure that privacy policies and notices are easily accessible on all devices that their audience may be using.
  6. Make consent a dynamic and ongoing process. Informed consent is an ongoing process and organizations must treat consent as a dynamic and interactive process.
  7. Be accountable: Stand ready to demonstrate compliance. Organizations should always be prepared to show compliance. Compliance can be demonstrated in various ways, including showing that these seven principles have been considered and implemented.

To ensure compliance, organizations are encouraged to carefully review these guidelines, and update their policies where necessary.


Stay Connected

Get the latest posts from this blog

Please enter a valid email address