The shift towards increased digitization since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on how Ontarians interact with their governments. It is also changing how public institutions deliver services, either alone or with third-party service providers. This rapid uptake of digital services brings significant privacy and access to information issues that affect us all. It is more important than ever to have a solid plan in place to meet these challenges.
At the start of my mandate, I committed to focusing on the access and privacy issues that matter most to Ontarians, informed by the broader global policy context. As part of this commitment, my office is engaging in a strategic planning exercise to identify the priorities that the IPC will focus on for the next five years, and we want to hear from you.
To kick-start the discussion, we have released a consultation paper, setting out six potential strategic priorities and principles to guide their achievement.
The feedback gathered on the consultation paper will help my office to identify and direct our discretionary resources toward areas where we can have the greatest positive impact. Setting strategic priorities will not stop us from receiving and processing access appeals and privacy complaints. Instead, they will guide our discretionary choices when it comes to proactive initiatives, like what research projects to undertake, what guidelines or educational materials to develop, what issues to advocate for, etc.
Our consultation paper is informed by the most pressing concerns voiced by the public, the media, and relevant stakeholders in dealings with IPC staff on a daily basis. The paper is also based on the in-depth research we conduct on emerging access and privacy issues in Canada, and globally. We also consulted with an ad hoc advisory committee of experts who serve as an independent sounding board for our office.
We invite your feedback, perspectives, and insights on our consultation paper. Submissions can be made online, by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mailing your comments to IPC Strategic Priorities, 2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400 Toronto, ON, M4W 1A8 by January 15, 2021. Our final report will be available on our website in early 2021.
Thank you in advance for your participation. It will help us focus on the issues that matter most to you, and in turn, maximize our positive impact on the access and privacy rights of all Ontarians.
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