Category Archives: Canada

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.

Fairness and Unfairness Moving Farther Apart

Fairness has become a huge data protection policy driver in Europe and the Americas.  Fairness is often hard to define in definitive terms, but the parameters of fairness are well known.  A fair data application creates identifiable value for individuals, mitigates risks to those individuals, and confirms the data is used within the context of… Continue Reading

IAF Announces International Advisory Board

The Information Accountability Foundation is truly international in its focus. As such, it relies heavily on non-U.S. supporters who provide insight and in-kind services that make its international programs so successful. To that end, the IAF has created an International Advisory Board comprised of members of its family that go well beyond just financial support.… Continue Reading

IAF Participates in OPC of Canada Stakeholder Meeting

On 6 October, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) convened a stakeholder meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for a discussion that included OPC’s strategic privacy priorities for the next five years. In particular, the meeting was part of a dialog on consent and privacy that the OPC launched with the publication of… Continue Reading

Accountability in an Observational, Analytics-Driven Digital Economy

Since a multi-stakeholder group first defined them in 2009, the essential elements of accountability have become well established in the field of data protection. These elements are reflected in guidance from data protection and privacy authorities in Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Colombia and France. They have been adopted as key elements in the European General… Continue Reading

Autonomy and Fair Processing: Proportioning the Governance

The free flow of data to facilitate individual, business and societal needs as well as to facilitate the protection of individuals to whom the data pertains has always required proportionality. That proportionality is demonstrated in privacy law that protects both individual autonomy and fair processing. The constant evolution of information and communications technologies further emphasises… 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

Information Impact Assessments Key to Protection with Innovation

Data must be used to improve global healthcare, economic opportunity, freedom of choice and expression, and functionality of markets. Data must be governed to assure the full range of interests and rights that are the basis of free democracies in the 21st century. Among those interests is the freedom from digital predestination–where probability alone determines… 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

Year-End Policy Call

2015 has been a most remarkable year for data protection, and 2016 will be full of challenges. To provide food for thought over the holiday break, the team at the Information Accountability Foundation will provide insights on accountability-based challenges for 2016. The discussion will touch on recent and upcoming policy as well as regulatory developments… Continue Reading