As part of a much-needed review of the adequacy of current privacy protections in the world of social networks, CIPPIC testified before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy & Ethics. In its testimony, CIPPIC highlighted some of the privacy and regulatory challenges inherent in social network environments, and called on the Government to provide enhanced transparency, 'privacy by default' obligations, enforcement powers and better suited procedural mechanisms and a comprehensive and effective federal data breach notification regime.

On April 23, 2013, the ETHI Committee released its study, which canvassed far-ranging issues such as the need to empower the Privacy Commissioner by adding enforceability and penalties to PIPEDA, the need for data breach notification obligations, and privacy by default. The report includes several recommendations that the Privacy Commissioner develop guidelines on the application of the PIPEDA to various contexts. As pointed out in a Supplementary Report from the NDP, however, the record of this investigation strongly demonstrates the need for greater enforcement powers if such guidelines are to be effective in any meaningful way. The NDP Supplementary Report points to additional systemic factors that need to be addressed if PIPEDA is to remain relevant and capable of achieving its objectives. As PIPEDA's second five year mandatory statutory review is now past due, it will be interesting to see how the government responds to the report and recommendations.