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Strengthening Accountability and Privacy Safeguards

As more and more information is collected, processed and stored electronically, organizations must

take responsibility for their personal information management practices. They will have to find

continually novel ways of updating privacy practices and security safeguards to protect themselves

effectively against the growing proliferation of threats of loss, theft or misuse of

information. Accountability and governance measures will become more important than ever.

In December 2014, we conducted eigh

t focus groups

with individual Canadians in Vancouver, Toronto,

Montreal and Halifax. Participants were provided with summaries of the six proposed privacy themes and

were prompted to discuss their views on privacy issues through a series of structured questions. In particular,

they were probed for their awareness of the issues as well as their views on where the responsibility lies for

protecting personal information—with individuals, organizations or government. We used the results of the

2014 Survey of Canadians on Privacy ,

an OPC poll of 1500 Canadians about their understanding and awareness

of privacy issues, to further inform our thinking on potential privacy priorities.

In January and February 2015, we held all-day meetings with stakeholders for an in-depth discussion of privacy

issues as framed by the six proposed privacy themes. We invited a wide range of interests from across

Canadian society so as to be able to hear a diversity of views and perspectives. Commissioner Therrien and

OPC staff met with over 150 representatives (Figure 1) from academia, civil society, consumer groups, the

private sector, and government, including provincial and territorial privacy oversight offices.

We also received seven written submissions from invitees who either could not attend or wanted to express

their views in more detail. Stakeholder comments and opinions were invaluable in helping to shape and refine

the privacy priorities we subsequently selected, and in helping focus our direction over the next few years.

Figure 1: Makeup of meetings by stakeholder group