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(Feb 20, 2015) Of course, the first thing I wanted to write about today was how ridiculously cold it is in Ottawa and how I am so over winter. I know, I know, we’re Canadians and we aren’t supposed to complain about it, but it’s hard not to when my eye lids actually freeze shut! I saw a cartoon the other day that said: "Why do I live in a place where the air hurts my face?" Right now, despite being a pretty patriotic guy, I agree! I suppose it's a good time to hibernate and get work done... There's a silver l... Read More

Canada Dashboard Digest

Court Rules Patients Can Sue Hospitals for Invasion of Privacy

(Feb 20, 2015) On Wednesday, the Ontario Court of Appeals said patients have the right to sue hospitals over breaches of privacy, The Star reports. In an unanimous ruling, the court said patient rights are not superseded by provincial health privacy laws. In particular, the ruling has allowed a multimillion-dollar class action against Peterborough Regional Health Centre to proceed. The case involves inappropriate snooping into patient records, which resulted in the firing of seven employees and involved, for example, access to 414 abortion files by a high-profile anti-abortion advocate. Read More

Canada Dashboard Digest

Privacy Commissioner Releases Privacy and Cyber Security Report

(Feb 20, 2015) The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released this week its report on privacy and cybersecurity, prepared by the Research Group, Legal Services, Policy and Research. The report first lays out various cybersecurity challenges, including the growing sophistication of attackers, the proliferation of big data sets that act as honeypots and the fact that many organizations still do not prioritize breach prevention and preparedness. Second, it provides an overview of cyber-policy developme... Read More

Canada Dashboard Digest

El Emam Debates the Shopping Mall Re-identification Study

(Feb 20, 2015) Science magazine recently dedicated an entire issue to the alleged “death of privacy” and included a study on the re-identification of shoppers who made credit card purchases. One of the study’s key conclusions is that by using only four transactions, 90 percent of the 1.1 million individuals studied could be re-identified. “This conclusion has then been repeated uncritically by the science and general media communities,” writes Privacy Analytics CEO Khaled El Emam. In this post for Privacy Tech, El Emam critiques the researchers’ conclusions to make the case for a responsible data sharing future. Read More

Canada Dashboard Digest

Harper Says Oversight of Spy Powers Is Just Right

(Feb 20, 2015) Responding to critics that include four former prime ministers and a group of “22 prominent Canadians,” backed by the NDP and Liberals, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a speech in Surrey, BC, that he has already strengthened oversight of CSIS’s spying powers to the proper amount, The Star reports. He argued the current watchdog agency, SIRC, is already sufficient for keeping CSIS in check, that Bill C-51 would require CSIS to get a warrant on a case-by-case basis and that Parliament is not... Read More

Canada Dashboard Digest

Committee Releases 15 Recommendations for Improving BC Privacy

(Feb 20, 2015) After a five-month public consultation process and a good deal of deliberation, the Special Committee to Review the Personal Information Protection Act released its findings this week. The 30-page document presents 15 recommendations to the BC Legislative Assembly, including that PIPA be amended to require organizations to adopt privacy management programs, make privacy policies publicly available, include employee training and are regularly monitored and updated. Other recommendations include a mandate for contracts when transferring data to a third party, to strengthen the commissioner’s powers and that a new health information law be developed to be more consistent with the rest of Canada. Read More

Canada Dashboard Digest

Geist: Why Bell’s Targeted Ad Program Falls Short on Privacy

(Feb 20, 2015) Writing for The Star, University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist outlines just why Bell’s targeted advertising program, begun in 2013 and the subject of hundreds of complaints to the privacy commissioner, falls short on privacy. While Bell argues that its program allows for opt-out and doesn’t involve the actual collection of additional information, Geist argues that comparable programs in the U.S. are either opt-in or offer a benefit for not opting out, such as a discount on services. Further, he says, Bell has far more data on its users than the average internet service provider, and is supplying advertisers profiles that include credit score, pricing plan and average revenue per user. Read More

Canada Dashboard Digest

Manitoba Ombudsman Creates New Privacy Rules

(Feb 20, 2015) Saying, “pretty much everywhere you look these days, more organizations are using video surveillance,” Manitoba ombudsman Mel Holley released this week new rules about how public agencies can use video surveillance. As the Winnipeg Free Press reports, public agencies must now demonstrate the need for video surveillance versus less intrusive options, must explain how the information will be stored, must notify the public a system is in operation and must take responsibility for the security of the data and the ability for citizens to access it upon request. “One of the issues that’s recognized internationally,” said Holley, “is that this information never dies.” Read More

Canada Dashboard Digest

Privacy Commissioner Issues Guidelines for Body-Worn Cameras

(Feb 20, 2015) In a report released this week, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada issues guidance for law-enforcement agencies using body-worn cameras. Law-enforcement agencies should first demonstrate operational need for the cameras, should consider whether the technology is fit for the operational needs that have been identified, should undertake a pilot project to identify ways to minimize privacy invasion and when alternatives are considered preference should be shown to the “least privacy invasive measure.” Finally, PIAs should be conducted before implementation of the technology, and special care should be taken to protect employee privacy as well. Read More

Canada Dashboard Digest

Introducing Our New Blog: Privacy Tech

(Feb 19, 2015) Over recent years, the privacy profession has undergone tremendous growth and change. “The primary driver behind the phenomenal growth of the privacy profession … resides in the fact that organizations are finding increasing value in personal information as advances in technology uncover new ways to collect and process data,” writes IAPP Chief Technology Officer Jeff Northrop, CIPP/US, CIPT. In this inaugural post for our new blog dedicated to the technology of privacy, Privacy Tech, Northrop di... Read More

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