Canada Dashboard Digest

Opinion: Commissioner’s “Top-Down” Approach Curbs Citizen Participation

PRIVACY LAW

December 23, 2011

Writing for rabble.ca, Anton Oleinik expresses concern about the privacy commissioner's "top-down" approach to protecting citizens' privacy. Oleinik questions whether citizens should rely on the commissioner's "insight and expertise in the matters of protecting their privacy rights, or should they take their own initiative and guide the commissioner's efforts in this highly sensitive area by helping her spot problems that call for solutions?" Olienik points out that between 2003 and 2005, Canadian privacy complaints "reversed radically" in volume. "Can this drop in the number of citizen contacts with the ombudsperson," he writes, "be attributed to the increased efficiency of government bodies in meeting and anticipating the privacy concerns of the constituency or to Canadians' growing reliance on the ombudsperson's website as a source of information about privacy?"
Full Story