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On January 28, 2016, the Commissioner submitted an op-ed to the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald for Data Privacy Day to emphasize the importance of valuing and protecting personal information by raising awareness about privacy breaches.
This letter to the editor was sent in response to an article in the Edmonton Journal about crime in Edmonton. The Commissioner noted that misleading readers with headlines about crime statistics increases fears, which then leads to more calls for surveillance, when, in fact, crime rates had decreased in the city.
This paper, Deputizing the Private Sector: Requiring the Collection of Personal Information by Non-Government Entities for Law Enforcement or Other Purposes, looks into the collection of personal information by non-government entities (typically a private sector company) for disclosure to and use by government or law enforcement. The choice of who collects personal information has consequences for the privacy rights of individuals. Using examples of bylaws or legislation developed in Canada and elsewhere, the authors provide advice for assessing the collection decisions made by legislators and policymakers. Specifically, the authors identify aspects that matter to privacy (p. 19) and ideas for evaluation of personal information collection choices (p. 23). Published in May 2015.
The OIPC commissioned research that examines the implications of different models that governments use to handle access to information requests. Specifically, it compares a decentralized system where the response mandate is held by individual government departments in contrast to a system where response is centralized in one government department. Published in June 2018.
Note: On December 21, 2018, the Quebec Court of Appeal found sections 1 to 7 of the federal Genetic Non-Discrimination Act to be unconstitutional on the basis that they are outside of the Parliament of Canada’s jurisdiction over criminal law. This document will be updated in due course. In the meantime, please note that the content is not currently up-to-date. Summary: As direct-to-consumer genetic tests become increasingly available, particularly over the Internet, it is important to understand their privacy risks. This document explains some of the key privacy risks associated with these tests, informs individuals of their rights and encourages them to ask themselves a series of questions before buying one online. (This document opens as an external link.) Updated in December 2017.
On October 31, 2002, the Commissioner wrote to the federal Minister of Justice expressing concerns about DNA data bank legislation.
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