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Page Background

Annual Report to Parliament 2014 – Report on the

Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act

This report also highlights the dramatic jump

we have seen in complaints to our Office –

perhaps a sign of growing public concern about

privacy issues – and it describes some of the

major investigations concluded over the course

of the year.

As well, the report speaks to how rapidly

changing technologies such as those tied to Big

Data and the Internet of Things are raising new

privacy concerns. It also discusses transparency

issues related to government requests for

access to personal information held by private

sector companies such as telecommunications




Every hour of every day, individuals the

world over rely on common information and

communication technologies, platforms and

networks. The data involved in these online

activities can travel throughout the world,

including to third party companies that may

not be subject to privacy protection regimes.

Changes in one company’s privacy practices

or a data breach can affect millions of people


Consequently, international cooperation has

been an established priority for the OPC

over the last several years. Our feature article

(see page 29) focuses on the evolution of

international collaboration and some of the

concrete actions we took with global partners

in 2014. These included, for example, the

Global Privacy Enforcement Network Privacy

Sweep, through which 26 privacy enforcement

agencies, coordinated by our Office, examined

how hundreds of popular mobile applications

communicate their privacy policies to users.

Actions on concerns that followed resulted in

improvements to the privacy practices of more

than 100 applications.

In addition, Canadians are already reaping the

benefits of cooperative agreements the Office

has established with counterparts in countries

such as Ireland and the United Kingdom, and

the member economies of the Asia–Pacific

Economic Cooperation forum. In 2014,

we added Dubai and Romania to the list of

countries with which we have such agreements,

allowing us to conduct joint investigations

and as a result increase our effectiveness

in addressing consumer concerns within a

global economy marked more and more by


Among the most exciting developments

of 2014 was the acceptance of the Global

Cross Border Enforcement Cooperation

Arrangement by 55 of the world’s data

protection authorities. This Arrangement

is aimed at fostering more coordinated

approaches to addressing cross-border privacy

issues. It meets an urgent need for data

protection authorities to share confidential

information, thereby enabling greater

collaboration and more joint investigations.