Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  13 / 89 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 13 / 89 Next Page
Page Background

Commissioner’s Message

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.



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

personal information.

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


Identification Act

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