72% of Quebecers are concerned about the protection of their personal data, according to a study by the Office of Consumer Protection.

72% of quebecers express concern over the security of their personal data

The growing concern for data privacy in Quebec: why law 25 is a game-changer?

In response to this mounting concern, Quebec’s government introduced Law 25. While we may not have a 25th Stanley Cup, we do have Law 25. 🔥

What’s the Goal of law 25? The purpose of Law 25 is to enhance transparency, guarantee confidentiality, and empower individuals with more control over their personal data.

Our data analytics agency is here to offer you an in-depth look at Quebec’s Law 25. We’ll explore this crucial regulation from its origins to its impact on SMEs, facilitating your journey to easy compliance.

Ready to navigate the icy waters of data protection in Quebec with us?

What is Law 25 and why was it created?

The simple definition of law 25

Law 25 is all about privacy rights.

Think of Law 25 as the vigilant guardian of your digital secrets. It’s to your data what a vault is to your most valuable possessions.

Also known as the act respecting the protection of personal information, law 25 meticulously outlines how businesses and public organizations can collect, use, and share your personal information.

In a nutshell, it’s designed to ensure a person information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands or get misused, thereby boosting Quebecers’ trust in how their information is managed.

Impressive, right?

The enforcers: not CIA but CAI 🙃

The CAI, Commission d’Accès à l’Information du Québec is the designated authority overseeing the implementation of this law. It ensures businesses adhere to high standards of data protection by establishing a robust legal framework that promotes transparency, confidentiality, and data security respecting individual rights and consumer rights. 

Don’t play with fire ⛔

And for those thinking of skirting the rules, be warned: the law includes penalties and criminal prosecutions for non-compliance.

What was the urgent need for this new legislation?

In our increasingly digital world, information travels at the speed of light. Imagine your personal secrets displayed on a giant screen in Times Square! Not comforting, is it?

That’s where Law 25 steps in.

It was crafted to address these growing concerns about personal information protection.

This new law 25 in Quebec mandates both public organizations and private companies to:

  1. Implement clear privacy policies
  2. Update their information inventory

Why SMEs shouldn’t ignore Law 25?

What are the major stakes for your business?

Small and medium enterprises need to pay close attention to Law 25 on personal information protection.

With the rise of Artificial Intelligence and the increasing digitization of data, privacy incidents involving personal information are becoming all too common. To dodge these pitfalls, SMEs must implement robust protective measures and align with the law’s requirements.

What counts as personal information?

Whether you’re a freelancer, a business, a cooperative, or even a non-profit organization, if you’re collecting or using personal information in your operations, Law 25 compliance is non-negotiable.

The cost of ignorance: severe penalties

Ignoring Law 25 can lead to significant legal and financial repercussions for SMEs. Companies that flout this law could face hefty fines, potentially reaching into the millions. Plus, privacy incidents can erode customer trust and inflict lasting damage on your brand reputation.

The financial penalties at stake

Here’s a breakdown of the fines you could be looking at for non-compliance:

Offense TypeIndividualsBusinesses and Public Organizations
Minor/Administrative$500 – $50,000$1,000 – $10M or 2% of global revenue
Moderate$1,500 – $50,000$4,000 – $10M or 2% of global revenue
Severe$3,000 – $50,000$8,000 – $10M or 2% of global revenue
Very Severe$5,000 – $50,000$15,000 – $10M or 2% of global revenue

*The amount is based on the global revenue from the previous fiscal year if that amount is higher.

The role of the Quebec Access to Information Commission (CAI)

The key of Canadian privacy law

This authority is responsible for evaluating factors related to personal information protection, handling complaints, and ensuring individuals’ access rights are respected. They assess the types of offenses based on several criteria, including:

  • The repetitive nature and duration of the offense
  • The sensitivity of the information involved
  • The number of people affected by the offense
  • The risk of serious harm these individuals face
  • The corrective measures taken by the offending individual or business

By understanding the stakes and aligning with Law 25, you’re not just complying—you’re fortifying your business against risks and building a brand that people can trust. So, let’s get you fully equipped to ace this high-stakes game.

Decoding law 25 obligations: your roadmap to compliance 💡

When to start complying to law 25?

Law 25 is being rolled out in phases over several years. Some provisions have been in effect since September 2022, while others will kick in by September 2024. This phased approach allows organizations to gradually adapt to the new requirements.

Key steps for Law 25 implementation:

As of September 22, 2022

  • Designate a privacy officer: Every business must appoint a legal person responsible for personal information protection. Their contact details should be easily accessible, ideally on the company website
  • Incident management/Breach notification: In case of a data breach, immediate steps must be taken to minimize risks and notify both the Commission and affected individuals. A record of such incidents should also be maintained

In reality, even though businesses show a willingness to comply, many face delays due to the law’s complexity.

Starting September 22, 2023 (pay attention here!⚠️ )

Governance policy: Businesses must establish a clear policy on personal information management and make it accessible on their website.

This document should be in plain language and include:

  • Contact details for an internal point person
  • Types of information collected and their intended use
  • Data retention period and security measures

Risk Assessment: Before sharing personal information outside Quebec, a privacy impact assessment is required.

Consent and transparency: New rules on data collection consent are introduced.

  • If you’re using Google Analytics or a Facebook pixel, you must inform website visitors that they’re consenting to share their information. Until they make a choice, don’t collect data
  • If a user requests to withdraw consent, you must delete their personal information within 30 days

Data destruction: Once the data collection purpose is fulfilled, businesses must either destroy or anonymize the data.

Starting September 22, 2024

  • Data portability: citizens can request access to their personal information and make corrections

Key changes you need to know about law 25

To sum it up, Law 25 introduces several pivotal changes that will significantly impact businesses of all sizes:

  • Law 25 expands the scope of personal information protection to include both public organizations and private companies. This means all organizations must comply with legislative provisions concerning data collection, use, sharing, and destruction
  • Businesses are required to maintain an inventory of personal information, assessing privacy-related factors
  • Organizations must also update their privacy policies and ensure robust information governance
  • In case of a privacy incident involving loss, unauthorized access, or disclosure of personal information, businesses must promptly report the incident to the Quebec Access to Information Commission (CAI) and implement preventive measures for the future
Key changes about law 25 in Quebec

How to make your business law 25-compliant

A step-by-step guide 🛠️

Who should be in charge of compliance?

According to Law 25, every business must designate a person responsible for personal information protection. This individual should ensure that the company is in compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements concerning personal data protection.

Why It Matters? This person should have a deep understanding of the law and best practices in data protection. They should be capable of crafting and implementing policies and procedures to ensure data confidentiality.

Plus, Law 25 mandates that this individual’s title and contact details be publicly available, ideally on the company website, allowing direct communication in case of queries or concerns.

Under Law 25, valid consent for personal data collection must be clear, free, informed, and specific.

Organizations are required to inform individuals about the specific purposes for which their data will be collected, used, or shared.

How to do It? Start by listing all the types of personal information you might collect.

Then, create an easily accessible privacy policy that clearly outlines:

  • The purposes of data collection
  • Intended use of the information
  • Security measures in place to protect the data

⚠️ Exceptions to Note: Explicit consent isn’t always necessary. For instance:

  • When personal information is essential for contract execution (for example, delivery of a product or service)
  • When data is used for research, studies, or statistics and is anonymized
  • When data is shared with a legal team to defend an individual’s rights

Why a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) is crucial?

A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) is vital, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This assessment identifies, evaluates, and manages potential privacy risks linked to a project or initiative. It ensures compliance with existing laws and regulations.

The PIA Advantage:

  • Demonstrates your organization’s commitment to privacy
  • Ensures the implementation of strategies to protect personal information
  • Informs higher-ups about the PIA results, allowing them to endorse any remaining risks despite mitigation efforts

PIA guidelines:

  1. Preparation: Ask the right questions, define your business and project, establish role-sharing, know your data protection obligations, identify the personal information involved, and pinpoint interaction points.
  2. Analysis: Assess compliance with data protection obligations, identify and describe privacy risks, evaluate their impact.
  3. Report Writing: Detail the PIA process, identified risks, mitigation measures, and future recommendations.

In some cases, a PIA is mandatory for public organizations and private companies that automate personal information processing. However, even when not obligatory, it’s highly recommended for all businesses to conduct this assessment to ensure adequate data protection.

How to achieve optimal compliance with law 25? 🚀

Training Your team for advanced compliance

To nail compliance with Law 25 and the new legal obligations concerning personal data protection, it’s crucial to train your team effectively.

Here’s your roadmap:

  • Craft a detailed yet straightforward presentation highlighting the shifts in data protection within your company ✅
  • Pinpoint the roles and responsibilities of each staff member throughout the data lifecycle ✅
  • Educate your team on the gravity of these changes, the core principles of Law 25, and the repercussions of non-compliance ✅
  • Walk your team through the company’s policies and practices on data protection, ensuring they’re understood, implemented, and monitored ✅
  • Spot any gaps in employee behavior and adjust your internal communication accordingly ✅
  • Keep the team updated on legal changes and best practices. By investing in thorough, ongoing training, you’ll instill a robust culture of data protection within your organization ✅

Need help setting up this training and meeting legal requirements? Reach out to us for expert guidance!

Tech tips and tools to assist you

Companies can leverage various tech tools to meet Law 25 requirements and safeguard personal data. Here are some:

  • Consent Management Platform

 (CMP): Opting for a Consent Management Platform ensures effective data management from creation to deletion. Some top picks include

  • OneTrust and TrustArc are Consent Management System: These tool helps collect, manage, and document individual consents for data usage, making it easier to revoke consent and enhance data transparency. Consent Manager is a go-to solution
  • Secure portals: Platforms like Salesforce Customer 360 allow individuals to access their data, request corrections, or exercise their right to be forgotten
Cookie management on a website

We recommend:

  • Assessing and categorizing all cookies you collect (essential, performance, customization, advertising)
  • Installing a cookie banner to notify users about cookie collection, allowing them to accept cookies from desired categories. No data should be collected before this
  • Logging user consents in a digital registry and setting a maximum retention period for any personal information. In short, think about your “right to be forgotten” policy. Provide means for users to request the deletion of their personal data, perhaps through a form on your website

One last pro tip?

Keep a keen eye on who holds what information, both internally and externally. Regularly review access permissions and ensure they’re legitimate. Revoke access from former employees or service providers. Using a password manager like LastPass can be a game-changer here!

Law 25 in a nutshell 🎯

Nailing Law 25 compliance isn’t a one-off task; it’s a full-on strategy. We’re talking cutting-edge tech tools, ongoing team training, and relentless vigilance. Why? Because it’s not just about dodging legal bullets. It’s about building a brand fortress that your customers and partners trust implicitly.

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t sweat it, contact-us. Our specialized web marketing agency is here to guide you every step of the way.

If you want to see our achievements, it’s here!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Law 25🎯

Law 25 helps protect people’s personal information in Quebec. It sets rules for how businesses and public groups can collect and use this data. The law was made because people are more worried about their data privacy these days.

Ready to make this law your ally in building a brand that values privacy? 🎯

Contact-us today, we can help you! 

Law 25 primarily concerns businesses and public organizations operating in Quebec. Its reach extends to any entity that collects, uses, or discloses personal information of individuals within this jurisdiction.

Whether you’re a small startup, a medium-sized enterprise, or a large corporation, this law is your new playbook for data protection. Even public organizations aren’t exempt; they’re also under the microscope.

Get ready, because not following the law can cost your company a lot of money. Fines can go up to millions, and the amount depends on how serious the mistake is. But that’s not all. Breaking this law can also hurt your brand’s image and make customers lose trust in you.

Fines for non-compliance with Law 25 are no joke; they’re tailored to the severity of the violation. We’re talking a range that starts at $500 and can skyrocket into the millions.

The amount hinges on the type of offense, categorized as minor, moderate, severe, or very severe. And get this: businesses are assessed based on their global revenue from the previous fiscal year.

Here’s the deal: parts of Law 25 have been in effect since September 2022, and the rest will be by September 2024. So, you have deadlines that you can’t ignore. Your business needs to meet the law’s requirements by these dates.

Are you on track? 🕒 Don’t hesitate to contact our team if you need some help to implement law 25 in your company 📈.

This law isn’t just making small changes; it’s setting a whole new standard for protecting personal data.

It now includes both private and public organizations. You’ll need to keep track of all personal data, improve how you manage it, and report any issues quickly. Plus, there are new rules about getting permission to use data and letting people move their data around.

A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) is more than just a formality; it’s your guide to dodging privacy pitfalls in any project. Consider it your badge of honor in data protection. It outlines how you’ll keep data safe and keeps everyone who needs to know in the know.

To get your business in line with Law 25, here’s your action plan:

  1. Appoint a Data Protection Officer
  2. Be crystal clear with people about how you’re collecting and using their data: display a privacy policy on your website
  3. Conduct a Privacy Impact Assessment
  4. Train your team on the new legal requirements
  5. Leverage tech tools to make data management a breeze
  6. Gear up for data portability coming in 2024

Ready to make these steps your new business mantra? 🎯

Law 25 shakes up the game when it comes to sharing personal data outside Quebec. Before you even think about it, you’ll need to conduct a Privacy Impact Assessment and snag clear consent from individuals.

The law’s goal? To amp up data protection when it’s shipped beyond provincial borders. 🌐

To help people flex their data portability muscles under Law 25, businesses need to roll out procedures for handling personal data access requests.

That means giving individuals the keys to their data kingdom: access, correction, and easy transfer to other services. It’s all about top-notch data management and crystal-clear process documentation. Are you ready to empower your users? 🛡️

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Alexandre is co-founder of Intégral, a collective of 4 agencies specialized in digital marketing in Montreal and Paris. A former strategy consultant, he made a U-turn in 2017 to become a digital expert. He now has expertise in web strategy, content marketing and dad jokes.

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