October 14, 2022 - Health Sector, Private Sector, Public Sector

Privacy Round-Up (Volume 18)

In this Edition of the Round-Up:


  • "Right to Know Week" was celebrated from September 26 to October 2, during which time Information and Privacy Commissioners across Canada organized events and published resources to raise awareness about access rights and freedom of information in the public sector. In honour of the week, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (OIPC Ontario) kicked off its "Transparency Challenge", calling on public institutions to share their innovative projects or programs that improve government transparency for the benefit of Ontarians;



  • Implementing a modern, secure and interoperable digital health communication infrastructure has been identified as a key priority by privacy commissioners and ombudspersons across Canada. A joint resolution to that effect calls upon governments, health sector institutions and health providers to take a series of concrete actions and to work collaboratively with privacy watchdogs;


  • The OIPC Ontario has welcomed its first Scholar-in-Residence, Dr. Teresa Scassa. Dr. Scassa, who is the Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Policy and professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, discusses key challenges in privacy and data governance in a Guest Blog Post. Dr. Scassa and Adam Kardash discussed federal legislative developments during the AccessPrivacy July 2022 Monthly Privacy Call, the recording of which is available on-demand here;


  • Privacy Commissioner of Canada Philippe Dufresne met with data protection and privacy authorities from other G7 countries this month to discuss "current regulatory and technology issues in the context of cross-border data transfers". A Communiqué provides further details on this second meeting of the G7 Data Protection and Privacy Authorities Roundtable; 


  • A new report entitled "Facial Recognition Technology and the Growing Power of Artificial Intelligence" has been released by the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics (ETHI).  Commissioner Dufresne issued comments following the release of the report, reiterating that in his view, there is a need for critical measures in the area: e.g. mandatory Privacy Impact Assessments, measures to promote accountability and transparency, strong and effective privacy law frameworks, and overall modernization of both private and public sector privacy laws. Similar statements, guidance, and details about appearances before the committee by privacy watchdogs in Canada were highlighted in volume 15 of the Round-Up;


  • The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) has presented its 2021-2022 annual report to Parliament. (Annual reports released this year by other privacy watchdogs were highlighted in volume 16 and volume 17 of the Round-Up.) Key highlights of the report include: 

    • comments on the federal privacy legislative reform process,

    • a review of the OPC's work regarding police use of artificial intelligence technologies,

    • details on compliance, investigation and enforcement developments under both PIPEDA and the Privacy Act over the past year, and

    • an overview of the OPC's recent collaborative efforts with privacy regulators across Canada and internationally;


  • October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. The "Get Cyber Safe" national public awareness campaign, led by the Communications Security Establishment and the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, teaches Canadians how to recognize, prevent, and recover from phishing scams. In the spirit of the campaign, the OIPC Ontario published a blog post highlighting its updated resources related to ransomware. 


New AccessPrivacy Offerings for Subscribers: 

  • Commentaries have been added to our annotated Consumer Privacy Protection Act, focusing on the Privacy Commissioner's expanded discretion not to investigate a complaint and the new "legitimate interests" exception to consent authority; 



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