Watchdog nominee Philippe Dufresne stresses privacy as a 'fundamental right'

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OTTAWA — Philippe Dufresne, the government's nominee to be the next federal privacy watchdog, says coming legislation must recognize privacy as a "fundamental right."

Dufresene told a House of Commons committee scrutinizing his nomination that he would plan to provide advice on the shape of the laws that govern handling of personal information.

After about an hour of questioning, MPs on the committee passed a motion recommending to the House that Dufresne be confirmed as commissioner.

The privacy watchdog investigates complaints and reports on how public- and private-sector organizations deal with personal information, touching on everything from data breaches to the use of artificial intelligence.

The commissioner is appointed for a seven-year period following consultation with the leader of each recognized party in the Commons and group in the Senate, and after approval by resolution of both Houses of Parliament.

Dufresne, an accomplished lawyer, is the chief legal officer of the House of Commons and has previously worked as senior general counsel of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 13, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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