Meeting Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner

Meeting with Dr. Cavoukian was definitely a highlight of our Orientation. It was a blur of a meeting; she was in and out in 20 minutes but left us all feeling inspired by her vision for proactive privacy. Dr. Cavoukian framed the discussion on privacy in terms of freedom and the right to control how one’s personal information is used. She shared her vision for ‘Privacy by Design,’ a framework to encourage companies to guarantee privacy for users as a default setting. What was truly amazing was how Dr. Cavoukian has taken her mandate on a provincial level to a global scale, working on the international level to change trends in data ownership and surveillance. We also learned about ‘Privacy by Re-Design,’ a model to transform existing systems into ones that respect individual privacy, as well as Access by Design,’ whereby public information would be made accessible to all in order to encourage open government. The Commissioner and her office are clearly on the cutting edge of privacy and information issues, and she certainly challenged us all to think in innovative ways about informational self-determination.

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