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Jennifer Stoddart

Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Since taking on the role of Privacy Commissioner of Canada in December of 2003, Jennifer Stoddart and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada have become leaders both nationally and internationally in the privacy sphere. In December 2010, she was reappointed for a three-year term.

Commissioner Stoddart has overseen a number of important investigations and audits of personal information handling practices in the public and private sectors. She was the first data protection authority in the world to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the privacy policies and practices of the popular social networking site, Facebook.

Throughout her mandate, she has advocated the need to ensure that both PIPEDA and the Privacy Act continue to provide the strongest possible protections for Canadians in an era of constantly evolving risks to privacy.

The work of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner is guided by four emerging issues that Commissioner Stoddart and her team expect will have powerful impacts on privacy in the years ahead. They are: information technology; genetic information; national security; and the integrity of personal identity.

The Commissioner recognized early in her mandate that, in order to remain relevant as Canada’s privacy guardian, the Office needed to focus attention on the online world. Under her leadership, the Office is conducting a growing number of investigations involving online organizations.

In 2011, Canadian Lawyer magazine named Commissioner Stoddart to its list of the “Top 25 Most Influential” in the justice system and legal profession in Canada.

Commissioner Stoddart was previously President of the Commission d'accès à l'information du Québec, an organization responsible for both access to information and the protection of personal information.

She has held several senior positions in public administration for the Governments of Québec and Canada since being called to the Québec Bar in 1981. Commissioner Stoddart holds a Bachelor of Civil Law degree from McGill University, as well as a Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Québec at Montréal and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto’s Trinity College.
Behavioural Advertising: Who's Watching

Behavioural Advertising: Who's Watching You?

How would you feel if mall security cameras didn't simply monitoring you for stealing, but instead kept tabs on the specific brands, styles, colours and sizes of clothes you tried on, the magazines you leafed through at newsstands, what you ordered from the food court, and everything you actually bought during your visit?
12/19/2011 01:01 EST
Co-operating on Security Shouldn't Sacrifice

Co-operating on Security Shouldn't Sacrifice Privacy

As discussions between Canadian and American officials on perimeter security deal have intensified, it's very important that any perimeter security deal ensure that the collection, use and disclosure of Canadians' personal information continue to fall under Canadian standards of protection.
11/14/2011 02:59 EST
Lawful Access Legislation May Threaten Our Rights and

Lawful Access Legislation May Threaten Our Rights and Freedoms

Dear Minister Toews, these bills went far beyond simply maintaining investigative capacity or modernizing search powers. Rather, they added significant new capabilities for investigators to track, and search and seize digital information about individuals.
10/27/2011 03:16 EDT
Respecting Canadians' Privacy in the Decade After

Respecting Canadians' Privacy in the Decade After 9/11

Understandably, due to the tragedy of 10 years ago, governments have sought stronger security. But, as the pursuit of greater security continues, it doesn't have to come at privacy's expense. Privacy is not an unconditional entitlement and there may be cases when its protections must give way to meet a greater good.
09/08/2011 03:01 EDT