#CyberFLASH: Tips from a former privacy regulator

cra-passwords-security_211076204-e1402005190177As I transit out of my role leading the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) to join Dentons’ privacy law practice, I decided to take stock of my experience as a regulator and draw some lessons. I am sharing them in the hope they can assist companies in responding to privacy regulators.

At the OPC, I oversaw many, varied, privacy investigations. While focussing on the issues at hand, I couldn’t help judge the strategy of the respondent companies. In some cases, I was impressed with their principled approach, their openness and their commitment to resolving the matter. At times, I recognized their cooperation publicly. In other cases, I would wonder why they would take an antagonistic stance on an issue as sensitive as privacy, an issue which their customers, in survey after survey, declare to hold so dear. I could see companies hurting their case by their strategy. While the OPC would provide them guidance in privacy law, it was not my place to tell them how to best make their representations.

Now I can. So here are five main tips that I believe can benefit companies in responding to a privacy regulator.

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