Information and Privacy Commissioner Brian Beamish has been named as the 2016 recipient of the Ontario Bar Association’s (OBA) prestigious Karen Spector Memorial Award for Excellence in Privacy Law. This award is in recognition for exceptional achievements by a member of the OBA who is working in the field of privacy. The award is named in honour of the late Karen Spector for her innovative work in the practice of privacy law.
During his time at the IPC, Commissioner Beamish has consistently worked to uphold and advance the protection of personal privacy in Ontario. As Assistant Commissioner he led many precedent-setting investigations that resulted in improving privacy protections, such as the inquiry into the province’s jury selection process, the review of systemic breaches of health privacy at the Rouge Valley Health System and the investigation into sharing of mental health information between police and border officials. Since becoming Commissioner in 2014, Commissioner Beamish has pushed for strong measures to help ensure that police surveillance and police record checks are conducted in a manner that respects privacy rights. Additionally, he has also overseen ongoing efforts with the Ontario government on developing amendments to PHIPA that address privacy issues in the emerging eHealth environment.