Office of Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) launches public consultation on its five-year strategic plan

TORONTO, ON (December 10, 2020) — The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) is seeking input from Ontarians on the selection of its access and privacy strategic priorities for the next five years.

Today, the IPC launched a consultation to gather feedback and advice from stakeholders and the public on which focus areas are of highest significance to the people of Ontario and in which the IPC can have greatest positive impact. The rapid uptake of digital services, accelerated by the global pandemic, has ushered in significant privacy and access to information issues. It is more important than ever to have a solid plan in place to meet these challenges.

To kick-start the discussion, the IPC has released a consultation paper setting out six potential strategic priorities and approaches to help guide their achievement. These suggested priorities are key areas in which the office could focus its proactive efforts, while at the same time, continuing its day-to-day work overseeing Ontario’s access and privacy laws.

“From the start of my mandate I have committed to focusing on the access and privacy issues that matter most to Ontarians, informed by the broader global policy context,” said Patricia Kosseim, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. “The feedback gathered through this consultation will help my office to identify and direct our discretionary resources toward areas where we can have greatest positive impact. I encourage Ontarians to participate and help set the IPC’s strategic course for the next five years.”

The proposed strategic priorities were developed through the office’s daily scanning of emerging issues and concerns voiced by stakeholders, media, and the public, and further informed by in-depth research on access and privacy developments across Canada, and around the world. The IPC’s external ad hoc strategic advisory committee, an independent group of privacy and access experts from various sectors, provided extensive feedback and guidance on their development.

Through this consultation, the IPC is seeking insights on potential priorities that could, if adopted, strive to achieve the following goals:

  • To provide trusted, independent advice to government institutions seeking to digitize their services, while holding them accountable for respecting the privacy and access rights of Ontarians who use such services
  • To reduce barriers to access government-held information by promoting efficient access-to-information processes, proactive disclosures, and an overall culture of open government, while also protecting the personal information of individuals
  • To contribute, with others, to the development of governance frameworks that support the responsible use of data for innovative and socially beneficial purposes
  • To champion the access and privacy rights of Ontario’s children and youth, enabling them to exercise their independence, protect themselves, and make informed choices about their personal information
  • To develop and enforce the necessary boundaries to ensure that new technologies adopted by police for the purpose of protecting public safety, also respects Ontarians’ access and privacy rights
  • To support a virtual health care system founded on human dignity and trust which respects Ontarians’ privacy and access rights

Stakeholders and the public can submit written submissions until January 22, 2021.

How to participate

  • Read the IPC strategic priorities consultation paper
  • Fill out an online survey or email your comments

Additional resources

  • Learn about the role and the mandate of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

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