Category Archives: Big Data for Canada Project

Comprehensive Data Impact Assessments Set the Stage for Accountability 2.0

There is no disagreement, whether in Europe, the Americas or Asia, that a fully connected world requires those that think and act with data to demonstrate that their processing of data is legal, fair and just.  Demonstration requires comprehensive data impact assessments that help organizations discover the issues for all stakeholders. Discovery of issues helps determine that data is processed appropriately, particularly when uses go beyond the common understanding of the individuals to whom the data pertains. 

Over the past year, the Information Accountability Foundation (“IAF”) has had the pleasure of working with many Canadians in developing an assessment framework for Canadian organizations thinking and acting with data.  The IAF received a grant from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to develop and evaluate an assessment process for thinking and acting with data in Canada.  The IAF further received support and participation from twenty companies in actually developing an assessment framework that would be an extension of Canadian privacy impact assessments.  The product of that work was evaluated with other stakeholders last December.  The project would not have been possible without the wise assistance the IAF received from Adam Kardash of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.

On February 28, 2017, the IAF submitted the assessment framework and its report to the OPC.  Both are proudly posted on the IAF website.  The IAF believes the report and assessment framework demonstrate that similar frameworks, that both link with local law and global trends, are doable.  The IAF looks forward to doing further work in Canada on scalable oversight of assessments and in other locations on developing a growing tool chest of comprehensive assessments.

IAF Background Material for Marrakech Side Event

The Information Accountability Foundation looks forward co-hosting with the Future of Privacy Forum a side event entitled “Technology, Challenges and Effective Governance”.  The session will be held at the 38th International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners Conference in Marrakech during 18 October. To provide a better understanding of issues and questions to be discussed during… Continue Reading

Big Data Ecosystem, Fairness and Enforcement

Big data has become an increasingly scary phrase for all stakeholders in data protection. For privacy advocates, it often means loss of control, asymmetrical power and hidden discrimination. For regulators, it often means regulatory round pegs in operational holes of different sizes, in constantly moving locations, with mismatches that begin with vocabulary. For companies, it… Continue Reading

EDPG Project: Enhancing Benefits from Information Flows While Improving Regulatory Certainty in a Digital Age

Today’s information ecosystems are complex and set to become even more complicated. Business, today, is making increasing use of information as a means to create new products and services and drive value creation. IoT environments offer a terrific example of this complexity as does the whole area of Big Data analytics, which can involve the… Continue Reading

Look North

Canada, from a data protection perspective, has often been the bridge between U.S. harms-based approaches to privacy and European rights-based approaches to data protection. Canada is again showing its leadership, and this time has done so in the discussion and consultation paper released by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner on 11 May  2016. The title… Continue Reading

OPC of Canada Announces Funding for IAF Big Data Ethics Project

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) has announced that the Information Accountability Foundation (IAF) is the recipient of one of the OPC’s Contributions Program’s grants. (Link to announcement.) Awarded to advance the OPC’s privacy priorities, the grant will be used by IAF to help fund the Big Data Ethics Initiative: Assessment for… Continue Reading

Beyond Individuals’ Expectations

Data protection needs to be reinvented for today’s information policy challenges. While I have written on this topic before, two new essays make this argument incredibly well. The first is Omer Tene’s “People Like You” in the Yale Journal of Law and Technology. Tene makes the case that—in our ecosystem driven by analytics fed by observational data—it… Continue Reading