Privacy Priorities - page 5

in scope; their relative urgency; and
relevance to Canadians.
We considered our potential role in
advancing the issue: whether the matter
was appropriately within federal jurisdiction;
whether it was well-aligned with our
mandate and relevant to both public and
private sectors; what type of leadership was
needed; and what our Office’s value-added
contribution might be.
Finally, we considered matters of practicality,
such as: the opportunity for us to have
meaningful impact; the feasibility of achieving
results within three to five years; what past
investments we could leverage going forward;
and who potential partners might be.
As a result of that process, a consensus
developed around the following four strategic
priorities with very significant implications
for privacy:
Public safety and privacy
Information technology and privacy
Identity integrity and protection
Genetic information and privacy
At the time, we saw in each of these areas
the potential for evolving social norms and
business models to have significant impacts
on privacy rights.
We anticipated the appetite for personal
information to grow exponentially and the
drive for innovation to forge ahead globally
at lightning speed.
We saw the opportunity for our Office to
participate actively in the public debates
needed to raise privacy concerns in a timely
way. We set out to encourage government
institutions and private sector organizations
to build in necessary protections to minimize
privacy risks in these areas. We saw our
role as enabling responsible progress and
innovation in a manner that respects privacy
rights, and ultimately earns and maintains the
trust of Canadians.
Allocation of Resources
and Priority Focus
For each priority, we created a working group
comprised of staff from across the various
branches of the Office. The four working
groups met regularly to discuss relevant
issues, share information, and learn from
outside experts.
Organizing our work according to these four
priorities allowed us to allocate our resources
in a way that would maximize beneficial
impact for Canadians.
For example, it guided our decisions in
terms of which investigations to initiate;
privacy compliance audits or privacy impact
assessment reviews to prioritize; research
projects to undertake and/or fund through
our Contribution Program; guidance
materials to issue; and public and stakeholder
outreach activities to focus on.
It also bolstered our capacity in these areas,
which put us ahead of the curve in terms of
our policy work, our advice to Parliament,
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