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Friday, February 17, 2012

Privacy, accountability and the digital revolution

Luncheon Keynote Address
(Salon AB)

Elizabeth Denham, Privacy and Information Commissioner of British Columbia

Privacy, accountability and the digital revolution
Just as the computer revolutionized how we work and the internet revolutionized how we connect with people, we must revolutionize the way we think about privacy in today’s digitized world.
Join B.C.’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham for an engaging discussion about how we fuse privacy with technology as the digital revolution unfolds, including case examples and practical tools to help organizations demonstrate their compliance with B.C.’s privacy laws.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of our privacy legislation. It was not predicted how the technologies have transformed our lives. June 1993 had 130 websites, Mosaic was brand new as a graphic browser, the Apple Newton was released, and the US White House had 2 email addresses.

Today 1/3 of the world population is online, and the number of people seeking to mine the data of our online transactions is growing rapidly.

Privacy is not an add on or upgrade, nor is it a lens applied to data moving across borders. Privacy must be part of an organisations DNA.

The encouragement is for us all to become proactive to privacy, not reactively. Last year, her team was split into an investigatory group, and a development team that looks forward to guide organisations and individuals as well help the Office be proactive.

The topic of SmartMeters was discussed; the investigation led to the discovery that Hydro did not provide their customers with adequate notice of their intent. The question was not only is Hydro complying with privacy laws, but can they manage the data they collect. BC Hydro is complying with all 13 recommendations.

The Playoff Riot is the next topic, and ICBCs offer to leverage facial recognition to identify rioters. This led to a realisation that most BC citizens did not know ICBC had and used this technology. The data matching offer was denied because it did not align with the original intended use of the technology. ICBCs data and privacy management program was subsequently reviewed, and recommendations have been reported.

Both of these show the value of strong data governance.

BC's movement into IDM is exciting in our national leadership, but the people, policies, and practices to ensure privacy is baked in has been and continues to be essential to this effort.

Tools are coming available to all organisations for the development of privacy policies and incident response. This relates to the workshop I attended Wednesday morning. In all situations the bottom line to privacy protection is accountability.

An accountability tool is announced. "getting accountability right for privacy management frameworks" is a document that will be publicly available in two to three weeks.

Bill C-30, which combines previous bills that failed to pass the house. Police and other authorities are granted access to private information with much lower thresholds of access controls than ever before, and Canadians fundamental rights to privacy and confidentiality is at risk, and concerns about lawful access need to be brought to bear against your MPs. Elizabeth clarified that she has concerns about the bill as it stands, and that should be a consideration for us all.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:13th Privacy & Security Conference

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