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S

ince becoming Privacy Commissioner, I have been struck by the

fact that so many of the privacy risks facing Canadians are global

in nature.

In this digital era, our economy and our

society are increasingly international,

resulting in more and more of our personal

information crossing borders. A single

issue can affect large numbers of people in

multiple countries – something we saw in

our investigations work during 2014.

In one case, for example, we received over

two dozen complaints from Canadians

about a website based in Romania that

republishes legal findings. The site had

made readily accessible to anyone with an

Internet connection numerous court and

tribunal decisions containing highly sensitive

personal information related to divorce,

custody, bankruptcy, labour relations,

immigration and other matters.

Meanwhile, another investigation examined

a massive data breach at Adobe Inc. in

which hackers gained access to the personal

information of millions of customers around

the world.

For data protection authorities such as the

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of

Canada, these types of issues underscore

the importance of working to stay ahead

of emerging trends and also to continue to

find ways to collaborate more closely with

provincial and international counterparts.

The importance of thinking and working

globally cannot be understated, which is

why global privacy protection issues take

centre stage in this 2014 Annual Report to

Parliament.

Message from

the Commissioner

1