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Strengthening accountability and privacy safeguards

“I sort of expect I could get hacked in using the Internet. I pick and choose the

organizations I deal with and what I give them.”

-Focus group participant

“PIPEDA was meant to be the floor and has become the ceiling.”


“Most Canadians feel a greater reluctance to share their personal information with

organizations in light of recent news reporting of sensitive information, such as private

photos or banking information, being lost, stolen or made public. Seventy-eight percent

said these incidents have affected their willingness to share personal information with

organizations at least somewhat (scores of 3 or more), with three in ten (31%) saying

their willingness has been affected a great deal.”


2014 Survey of Canadians about Privacy

Discussions around this theme aligned very strongly with the OPC’

s background paper .

Focus group

participants were generally quite concerned about the protection of their personal information by private

sector organizations, and many said they were careful in choosing which organizations to interact with online.

Many expressed a higher level of comfort in dealing with large organizations, particularly banks, because their

banking information had never been compromised. They also expressed a desire for more transparency

around private and public sector privacy practices.

Among stakeholders, accountability was seen as a bedrock issue that was the foundation of privacy

compliance in all the proposed priority areas. It was generally felt that privacy laws were outdated, and that

mandatory breach notification is crucial to accountability. Some called for an increased enforcement role by

the OPC, for example, through more private and public sector audits.

Overwhelmingly, stakeholders called on the OPC to assist SMEs in meeting their privacy obligations. It was also

suggested that accountability could be enhanced at the front end if the OPC were to reach out to the

manufacturing sector to help engineers, technologists, and developers to integrate privacy by design principles.