Thursday, December 13, 2012

Privacy Commissioner calls for stronger enforcement powers

Until now, the discussion about giving the Privacy Commissioner stronger enforcement powers has been pretty low key. The conversation has ramped up a few notches as Jennifer Stoddart is more explicitly suggesting that she should have much greater powers. On December 11, 2012, she appeared before the parliamentary Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics standing committee as part of the committee's study of privacy and social media.

Her prepared statement is on her website ( Statement: Second appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics on Privacy and Social Media - December 11, 2012).

In the statement, she suggests that the current model is not working and that her office can handle the role of "judge, jury and executioner." I didn't see any detail on how it is not working. The study that she commissioned on whether the ombudsman model is working suggested that the problem is lack of compliance by small and medium sized businesses, but her comments were directed at "internet giants".

Regardless, we are going to hear a lot more of this in the coming years.

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