While much of the work done by the Office
cannot be predicted or controlled, we
some latitude in deciding which audits we
launch, which compliance review work we
undertake and what kind of proactive guidance
and public education we conduct.
MOVING FORWARDWITH NEW
STRATEGIC PRIVACY PRIORITIES
It is this discretionary work that these four
strategic priorities will help to direct and focus
over the coming five years.
The Economics of Personal Information
Today’s information-based economy and
society has spurred the commoditization of
personal information and new business models
being developed around the use of Big Data,
the Internet of things and mobile technologies.
Canada’s privacy laws are rooted in the
ability of individuals having control over
their personal information—and this ability
hinges on the quality of consent. In an age
where analytics and algorithms identify new
possible uses for data not yet even conceived
or imagined, many participants in our exercise
questioned whether it was realistic any longer
to seek one-time consent in exchange for
Our goal here is enhancing privacy protection
and trust, so individuals may confidently
participate in an innovative digital economy.
The Body as Information
The information generated by our bodies is
uniquely personal, and can be highly sensitive.
As more and more information about our
bodies is collected, digitized, catalogued and
analysed in biometric and DNA databases,
the impacts on privacy can be profound. The
exploitation of this information for commercial
profit-making motives or to assist government
surveillance efforts, may adversely affect not
only our right to privacy in respect of our
personal information, but our bodily integrity
and our very dignity as human beings.
Today, the federal government is expanding
its use of genetic material. In 2014, the
was amended, adding five
new categories of DNA profiles for collection,
including those: from victims of crime; of
missing persons and their relatives; and from
individuals who provide samples voluntarily.
At the same time, federal institutions are
expanding their use of biometrics as identifiers.
Bill C-59, for example, which became law in
June 2015, expands fingerprint collection from
certain travellers to Canada. The collection
and retention of fingerprints, palm prints,
iris scans and facial photographs, particularly
if these elements are matched to other data
points already in the government’s possession,
can raise profound privacy issues. Our Office
will be engaged on initiatives in which federal
institutions seeks to make use of data both
about and of Canadians to ensure the privacy