Archive for the ‘Administrative Notes’ Category

23 Aug 2012

OPC launches new online complaint form

Canadians who are concerned that their privacy has been compromised now have another way to submit complaints to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC). The Office has launched an online complaint form on its website. The form helps users compile and submit electronically all the information needed to properly file a privacy complaint under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), Canada’s federal private-sector privacy law, or under the Privacy Act, which applies to the federal public sector.

The new form reflects the OPC’s commitment to meeting the needs and expectations of Canadians, and further improving its service to Canadians. All information submitted to the Office via the online form is encrypted and appropriate measures have been taken to ensure that all submitted information will be stored securely.

As always, the Office encourages Canadians who have privacy concerns to first try to resolve them by directly contacting the organization associated with their complaint. However, if they are not satisfied with response, they can visit our website or call our Office at 1-800-282-1376 toll-free for more information about how to file a complaint.

8 Dec 2011

OPC Contributions Program is Now Accepting Submissions

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner is pleased to announce the launch of the Contributions Program 2012-13. The Contributions Program, which has funded nearly 80 privacy initiatives over the past eight years, presents a unique opportunity to advance privacy knowledge by drawing on the valuable skills and capacities of academic and not-for-profit organizations in Canada.

This year, the OPC is looking for innovative research projects which will generate and translate knowledge to the greater public. Our Office is interested in a variety of research topics, which feed into the OPC’s priority areas: Identity Integrity and Privacy; Information Technology and Privacy; Public Safety and Privacy; and Genetic Information and Privacy.

We fund research because we want to learn more about privacy issues in Canada but we also want to help ensure that others benefit from this research. So, we are particularly interested in seeing proposals from researchers and organizations that include a plan for knowledge translation. Knowledge translation is a process by which theoretical research results get transformed into useable outcomes that end-users can apply in practice. Some examples of knowledge translation activities that may be included in eligible proposals include:

  • Workshops, conferences and symposia that disseminate research results to relevant stakeholders and provide an opportunity for knowledge exchange between theoretical concepts and practical realities;
  • Engagement of relevant end-users as active participants in an iterative process throughout the research project to obtain relevant feedback and enhance the validity and utility of research results;
  • Innovative and interactive online approaches for disseminating research findings and raising public awareness of privacy issues;
  • Survey, evaluation or other methods of assessing the relevance, effectiveness or impact of knowledge dissemination approaches and strategies aimed at raising privacy awareness and understanding among individuals or organizations; and
  • Initiatives that transform research results into useable knowledge for relevant intermediaries (such as parents, teachers, journalists or consumer / industry / professional associations, etc.), who could then further disseminate that knowledge to relevant end-users.

For more details regarding the OPC Contributions Program please refer to the Contributions Program web page.

22 Nov 2011

Expression of Interest for Legal Agents

Legal Services, Policy and Research Branch (LSPR Branch) is seeking the assistance of qualified Legal Agents to complement in-house counsel.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) is inviting Expressions of Interest (EOI) from interested lawyers or law firms with demonstrated competence and ability to comply with the criteria set out in the EOI and the related Schedule A. The complete “Expression of Interest for Legal Agents” is available on the OPC website.

Interested lawyers or law firms are invited to qualify themselves on the renewed eligibility list, even if they have already been qualified on previous eligibility lists. This current EOI process will not affect or terminate any current contracts with Legal Agents for legal services with respect to any active matter.

To acknowledge your interest in responding to this expression of interest, and to receive further consideration, your submission must be received by November 30, 2011.

For more information, please contact:

DANIEL CARON, Legal Counsel
Legal Services, Policy and Research Branch
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
112 Kent Street, 3rd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1H3
613 947 4634

23 Jun 2011

2011-12 Contributions Program privacy research and awareness projects announced

Our Office has just announced this year’s recipients of our Contributions Program, which funds data privacy research and public awareness projects.

This year, OPC will be providing $350,000 to eight initiatives. These projects focus on the Office’s four key privacy priority areas: public safety, identity integrity and protection, information technology and genetic privacy. A number of the projects also focus on a key demographic for the Office – youth. Funded projects include:

  • The creation of a cross-media game that will use physical and digital spaces to teach Canadian children about privacy
  • Privacy education through workshops for the ethno-cultural Francophone community in Toronto
  • A study of how private security firms operate re-deployable surveillance camera systems, focusing on the interaction between private sector data gatherers and law enforcement authorities.

The full list of successful recipients and brief descriptions of their projects are available here.

Created in 2004, the OPC’s Contributions Program is considered one of the foremost privacy research funding programs in the world. Through this program, our Office has allocated over $2.5 million to more than 70 privacy research and awareness initiatives in Canada.

28 Jan 2011

Data Privacy Day

Data Privacy Day 2011

Today is Data Privacy Day, an opportunity for us to highlight the impact that technology is having on the privacy rights of Canadians and to reflect on the importance of valuing and protecting personal information. To drive home this point, we’ve chosen the slogan “The Net never forgets. Remember to protect your personal data” for our activities celebrating the day.

This year, our Office has developed a passel of resources designed to support Data Privacy Day initiatives all over Canada. We’ve developed posters and web graphics, fact sheets offering workplace tips on protecting information on mobile devices, and we’re running an online draw for a 2GB encrypted USB flash drive. We’ve shared many of these products with our provincial and territorial counterparts to complement their own activities to mark the occasion.

Here at the OPC, we’re holding an all-staff event underlining the importance of safeguarding data from the point you collect it, use and keep it, and ultimately dispose of it. We’ll be exploring a variety of methods for safely disposing electronic data, including an interactive demonstration on how to safely and effectively render a hard drive unreadable using tools you have at home. In an educational but light-hearted way, we hope to drive home the importance of protecting personal data!

23 Nov 2010

New Deadline for Feedback on our Consultations

As you may know, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada held public consultations in the spring of 2010 on online tracking, profiling and targeting; and cloud computing. Alongside the consultations we held in Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary, we received many written submissions as well. The consultations were aimed at learning more about certain industry practices, exploring their privacy implications, and finding out what privacy protections Canadians expect in terms of these practices.

The OPC’s draft consultation report summarizes what was heard, the views of the office, and what we see in terms of the future of privacy. With this report is the opportunity to provide us with feedback. You can choose to either:

use the feedback form,

send your comments separately to,

or send them by mail to:

2010 Consumer Privacy Consultations,
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada,
112 Kent Street
Ottawa, ON,
K1A 1H3

You now have until December 10th, 2010 to submit this feedback. Once all the feedback has been collected, we will prepare a final report for publication in 2011. Make sure you get your input to us in time for the new deadline!

13 Sep 2010

Seeking privacy geek

Are you passionate about privacy, security and technology? (Best guess is that you probably are, if you’re reading this blog.) Do you drive your friends crazy with your insatiable interest in and ever-growing knowledge of locational technology, surveillance systems, gaming or nanotech? Do you want to work with other like-minded people?

Our office is hiring a security and technology manager – essentially, the head of our IT research team. You can learn more and apply here.

31 May 2010

Our webcast in Montreal

If you’ve been following our Consumer Privacy Public Consultations, you know we’ve just completed the two sessions on Online Tracking and will be moving to the topic of cloud computing in Calgary next month.

And if you were following the consultation in Montreal via webcast, you may have noticed that our webcast connection cut out parts of the panel on Online Identity and Reputation, cutting out some of the opening remarks made by panellists Amy Buckland, Manon Arcand and Janic Tremblay.

One enterprising colleague managed to capture some of the remarks with the camera on her iPod(!). We’ve also posted the video on our YouTube page. As the audio is taken directly from the microphones in the room, the simultaneous translation feed is unavailable, but we’ve provided a short summary in English of what we recorded in French.

The full archived webcast of our Montreal consultation is now available online. If you haven’t already seen it, the archived webcast from our first consultation in Toronto is already available. As well, I encourage you to check out the conversation around our consumer privacy consultations on Twitter – hashtagged #priv2010 with full archives available here and here. We’ve been pleased with the level of engagement around them so far and we hope it continues.

18 Jan 2010

Public consultations on emerging technologies

I know. It’s kind of boring when I only post excerpts from our more formal publications. In some cases, though, the traditional news release and backgrounder nail the issue and the details.

We’re ” … hosting consultations with Canadians on issues that we feel pose a serious challenge to the privacy of consumers, now and in the near future.

The topics to be explored include the online tracking, profiling and targeting of consumers by businesses, and the growing trend towards cloud computing.

The aim of this consumer consultation is to learn more about such industry practices, explore their privacy implications, and find out what privacy protections Canadians expect with respect to these practices. The consultation is also intended to promote debate about the impact of these technological developments on privacy, and to inform the next review process for the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

The centerpiece of the consultations will be a series of single-day panel discussions [in Toronto, Montreal and elsewhere] involving a range of participants, including representatives of industry, government, consumer associations and civil society. In order to canvass the broadest possible range of views in preparation for these events, we are also welcoming written submissions.”

More details on the public consultations can be found elsewhere on our site.

4 Aug 2009

Searching for Tech Geek with Privacy Chops

We’re looking for an Information Technology Research Analyst – and the competition is open to the public. You can find a detailed list of requirements at, but we can boil it down to these three basic requirements:

  • a university degree in computer science or information technology (or a suitable combination of education and experience, for all you hacker dropouts)
  • an overwhelming interest in emerging technologies and an impulse to tear them apart
  • an ability to analyze the pieces piled up before you and explain their importance to non-technical people.

It would help if you were obsessive about a technology in particular, like video surveillance, RFID and locational technology, information security, the convergence of surveillance systems and biometrics, or mobile technology, but it’s not mandatory.

The position is based in Ottawa, and it’s full time. Cubicles are involved. We can understand if you bring a moderate amount of cynicism about bureaucratic processes and unnecessary hierarchies to the job – although we think you’ll find our Office less burdensome than most federal or provincial agencies.