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FDATA North America Submits Comments to Ontario’s Privacy Protection Engagement Consultation

September 3, 2021, Washington, DC – Today, the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) of North America submitted comments to Ontario’s consultation on efforts to strengthen and modernize privacy protections in the province. 

In its comments, FDATA North America called on the Ontario government to include a legally binding financial data access and portability right in any forthcoming data protection legislation or regulation. Executive Director Steve Boms pointed to other countries around the world who have provided legally binding data access, privacy, and portability regimes for their citizens and pointed to existing statutory and regulatory protections that work towards achieving this goal. “Ontario, and Canada more broadly, must support the rights of individuals to access and transfer their financial data, through data portability, to keep pace with other international standards that consider this right to be a key feature of a modern privacy regime,” Boms noted. 

In order to build an ecosystem in which Ontarians’ financial data is protected while providing for the right to benefit from data access and data portability rights, Boms highlighted the importance of competition and adequate protections for data privacy and security in a data-driven financial services ecosystem. Doing so will deliver lower costs, better services, and better outcomes for consumers’ and small business’ financial outcomes, he stated. Boms noted that approximately four million Canadians already utilize at least one financial technology application which relies on consumer consent and enables them to control which providers they allow to access their data, how their data is being used, and when access to their data is revoked. 

Boms concluded by noting that while the federal government moves forward slowly, Ontario can – and should – provide for stronger financial data access rights for its residents more quickly. 

Image result for paperclip iconFDATA North America Submission to Ontario Government on its Privacy Protection Engagement Consultation

FDATA was heavily involved in the UK Open Banking Working Group in 2015. In 2016, the working group’s output was published by Her Majesty’s Treasury as the Open Banking Standard. FDATA North America was founded in early 2018. Its members collectively provide tens of millions of consumers in Canada, the United States, and Mexico with aggregation-based tools to better manage their finances.

Members include air (Alliance for Innovative Regulation), APImetrics, Basis Theory, Betterment, BillGo, Codat, Direct ID, Envestnet Yodlee, Equitable Bank, Experian, Fiserv, Flinks, Interac, Intuit, Inverite, Kabbage, Marble, Mogo, Morningstsar, M Science, MX, Petal, Plaid, Questrade, Quicken Loans, SaltEdge, Trustly, ValidiFI, VoPay, Wealthica, Xero, and others.