In 1977, in response to a report recommending legislation that would protect the personal information in federal databanks, Parliament passed the Canadian Human Rights Act, Part IV of which created the position of Privacy Commissioner. Under section 57 of the Act, the Privacy Commissioner was appointed by the Minister of Justice on the recommendation of the Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
At the present time, the Privacy Commissioner is appointed by the Governor in Council by commission under the Great Seal, after consultation with the leader of every recognized party in the Senate and the House of Commons and after approval of the appointment by resolution of the Senate and the House of Commons. He or she holds office for a seven-year term (Privacy Act, s.53). The Privacy Act which currently governs the functions of the commissioner was adopted in 1983.