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Page Background

Annual Report to Parliament 2014 – Report on the

Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act

issues. For example, we continue to seek

opportunities to apply our successful early

resolution approach to complaints, enabling

us to address concerns without having to

undertake a formal investigation. We have

also been exercising our powers to decline

to investigate a complaint or discontinue

investigations

2

where appropriate in order to

concentrate resources on matters of greatest

privacy impact and concern.

KEEPING PACE WITH TECHNOLOGICAL

DEVELOPMENTS

Our growing level of activity—and our mission

to protect and promote the privacy rights

of individuals—compels us to identify and

seek to stay ahead of emerging privacy issues.

At the centre of many of these issues lies the

unrelenting pace and ever-expanding breadth

of technological development.

As network connectivity spreads from

computers and mobile devices to everyday

objects such as cars, appliances, clothing

and accessories, the amount of personal

information being collected and distributed

is increasing dramatically. When harnessed

2 Under section 12.2 (1) of PIPEDA, the Commissioner

may discontinue the investigation of a complaint if the

Commissioner is of the opinion that (a) there is insufficient

evidence to pursue the investigation; (b) the complaint is

trivial, frivolous or vexatious or is made in bad faith; (c) the

organization has provided a fair and reasonable response

to the complaint; (d) the matter is already the object of an

ongoing investigation under this Part; (e) the matter has

already been the subject of a report by the Commissioner.”

and analysed, the data these connected devices

gather can reveal a great deal about our private

lives, including our location, consumption and

travel patterns, health status and even moods.

The age of the Internet of Things and wearable

computing is only just beginning, but our

Office is already working to ensure we can

respond effectively to this emerging reality.

This includes a research agenda to examine

commercial data practices as they relate to

these new technologies and other advances.

Simply put, we need to continually enhance

our understanding of the privacy implications;

determine how best to ensure and encourage

greater respect for privacy by private sector

organizations; and promote the competitive

advantage that building citizen and consumer

trust can offer. We look forward to sharing

additional insights on this topic later in 2015.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND

TRANSPARENCY

While privacy is often synonymous with new

and emerging trends, the issue of government

access to private sector information, including

telecommunications data, remains the subject

of an important and ongoing debate. While

understanding the need for adequate security

and intelligence measures, our Office continues

to encourage parties on both sides of such

sharing of personal information to provide

greater transparency for Canadians.

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