OTTAWA, April 9, 2014 /CNW/ - The Digital Privacy Act, introduced
yesterday in Parliament, will help to protect seniors from fraud and
financial abuse, announced the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State
The Government tabled a new bill in Parliament that will include
measures to address rising concerns about financial abuse of seniors.
The new legislation will allow banks and other organizations, to notify
officials or a client's next of kin if they suspect that an elderly
client is the victim of financial abuse.
Currently, financial institutions must obtain an elderly client's
consent before disclosing information to prevent or investigate abuse,
for example where a joint account holder may be financially abusing a
senior. Under the new legislation, the financial institution will be
allowed to make a report if there is reason to believe that fraud or
financial abuse may be taking place. This will make it possible to
notify authorities and help protect seniors from financial abuse.
Officials at Industry Canada, with the support of Employment and Social
Development Canada, will work together with the Privacy Commissioner of
Canada to provide guidance to banks and other affected organizations
about factors to be considered in using their discretion in this area
and about related best practices.
The Government is actively addressing elder abuse through awareness
campaigns, the New Horizons for Seniors Program, and the Protecting Canada's Seniors Act, which came into force in January 2013.
The Digital Privacy Act amends the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, which sets the rules private sector organizations must follow when
collecting, using or disclosing personal information in the course of
The Protecting Canada's Seniors Act helps ensure consistently tough penalties for those who take advantage
of elderly Canadians.
Some sources suggest that between 4 and 10 percent of older adults in
Canada experience some form of abuse. It is also estimated that only
one in five incidents of abuse is reported.
"Elder abuse is an appalling crime and our government is committed to
protecting seniors from all forms of abuse. I fully support the
proposed changes to strengthen Canada's private sector privacy law and
provide added protection for seniors against financial abuse."
-The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
Related news release by Industry Canada
Digital Canada 150
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister of State (Seniors)
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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