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e-4000 (Information and privacy)

Initiated by Alana Baker from Ottawa, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • Today’s vehicles are gathering enormous amounts of data about the vehicle and its driver, including important maintenance and repair information;
  • Data transmitted wirelessly goes only to the automakers, giving them full control over it and authority to decide who can access it;
  • Without direct access to and control of this data, vehicle owners may face higher costs and have fewer options when it comes to who maintains and repairs their vehicles, restricting their ability to choose more affordable options;
  • The Conference Board of Canada estimates that the move to greater automation and wireless updates could lead to the loss of 53,707 aftermarket jobs by 2051;
  • 8-in-10 Canadians agree that auto manufacturers should be required by law to share data with independent repairers or mechanics so they can fix their car;
  • Canadians believe that vehicle owners deserve the right to direct where their vehicle data goes;
  • Other jurisdictions have recognized the importance of data ownership and introduced their own legislation;
  • Multiple pieces of legislation before the House of Commons address the issue of data control, consent, and maintaining the principle of right to repair; and
  • The Government of Canada’s ministerial mandate letters commit to resolve the right to repair issue.
We, the undersigned, residents and citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. Protect Canadian vehicle owners by giving them access and control of the data generated from their own vehicle; and
2. Move quickly to pass legislation which acknowledges the right of consumers to own their data so they can continue to repair their vehicle at the auto repair shop of their choice.

Response by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne

The Government of Canada strives to build a resilient, sustainable, and competitive economy, while seeking to achieve an ambitious environmental agenda. These efforts include supporting a more circular economy approach for the management of products, aiming to ensure that the value of products is kept in the economy – and out of the environment – for as long as possible.

The Government of Canada is committed to doing its part in removing obstacles and incentivizing manufacturers to better meet the needs of the consumers and the environment.

In his mandate letters dated December 16, 2021, the Prime Minister specifically asked the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, as well as the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, to work together to provide Canadians with a ‘right to repair’ to extend the life of their home appliances by requiring manufacturers to supply repair manuals and spare parts, and businesses to inform Canadians of the environmental impacts of consumer products. The Prime Minister further asked for the amendment of the Copyright Act to remove obstacles to the repair of digital devices and systems.

The work the Government is undertaking in this area will provide guidance to other industries, including the automotive industry. Throughout this work, Canada’s automotive and automotive repair industries will continue to enjoy the benefits of the long-standing Canadian Automotive Service Information Standards (CASIS), a voluntary agreement among most automotive manufacturers and repair providers. Through CASIS, repair and service shops receive access to available repair and service information, provided they commit to the provisions of the standard by making the necessary investments in equipment, tools and trainings.

Facilitating repair is a multi-faceted public policy challenge, which requires a variety of measures at all levels of government. To preserve our planet for future generations, it is important to empower Canadians with the flexibility to choose the best options for maintaining and repairing the products they use or own.

To the extent that the operation of a vehicle generates data that pertains to an identifiable individual, the collection, use, or disclosure of that personal information will be subject to Canada’s privacy laws. The federal private sector privacy law, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) sets out the rules which organizations must follow to protect Canadians’ privacy. PIPEDA provides individuals with control over their personal information, including by requiring that organizations obtain an individual’s consent before handling their information. Under PIPEDA, organizations must provide individuals with access to their personal information, on request, subject to limited exceptions. In ongoing efforts to increase consumer trust and enhance Canada’s prosperity in the digital economy, the Government of Canada has tabled Bill C-27, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2022, which seeks to replace PIPEDA with a Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA).

Going forward, the Government will continue to work with stakeholders to develop common approaches to technical matters on a sector-by-sector basis, including by working closely with automotive manufacturers, the service and repair industry, and by seeking to align with strategic partners, such as the United States.

The Canadian automotive sector and its aftermarket industry are key anchors of our economy and the Government remains committed to supporting the competitiveness of the sector and its transition towards connectivity, automation and zero-emission technologies, while simultaneously seeking to ensure that consumers’ privacy rights are comprehensive and robust.

Open for signature
May 4, 2022, at 3:17 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
June 3, 2022, at 3:17 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Brian Masse (Windsor West)
June 23, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00647)
Government response tabled
August 17, 2022
Photo - Brian Masse
Windsor West
New Democratic Party Caucus