#CyberFLASH: Should privacy by design be part of Canadian law?

gavel-stock-image-2Ann Cavoukian has long touted the benefits of “data privacy by design” and now the European Union has passed an overarching privacy law called the General Data Protection Regulation, which embeds that requirement.

The regulation comes into effect in 2018 in the EU. What is unusual about the regulation is that it applies to all EU member countries, replacing the separate privacy laws of each of its 28 countries.

Privacy by design was first developed by Cavoukian in the 1990s when she was privacy commissioner of Ontario. It is an approach to protecting privacy by embedding it into the design specifications of technologies, business practices, and physical infrastructures.

“That in itself is huge,” said Cavoukian, now the executive director of the Privacy and Big Data Institute at Ryerson University.

She was speaking on an International Association of Privacy Professionals panel last week in Toronto called “Privacy by design: How I learned to stop worrying and love disruptive technology.”

Even though privacy by design has been embraced globally for many years, the EU law is the first time it’s appearing in a statute.

Cavoukian noted that Canada’s privacy commissioner, Daniel Therrien, is also now asking if privacy by design should be embedded into Canadian law.

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