Canada introduces proposal on preventing the use of personal information for discrimination at the WTO

Countries continue to advance their views about the topics that should be included under the informal plurilateral negotiations on e-commerce taking place at the WTO. Canada introduced a concept paper on ‘Preventing the Use of Personal Information from being used for the Discrimination or Persecution of Natural Persons’ (INF/ECOM/39). The proposed text aims to protect the personal information of individuals in the digital economy from potentially being used by governments for the purposes of discrimination or persecution ‘on the basis of race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, or disability’. This provision would not prevent government authorities from requiring companies to disclose personal information for lawful purposes, but it would ensure that the information could not be used for malicious purposes.