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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 eight 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 the2014 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