This week in Toronto has been a whirlwind, to say the least!
We started off with privacy training a great cohort of privacy pros as well as some excellent pre-conference workshops deep-diving into what chief privacy officers need to know and how to manage a privacy crisis. Then, over the course of three days, close to 1,000 Canadian privacy professionals gathered for the IAPP Canadian Privacy Symposium 2023. Does anyone else remember when we were about 300 in Canada?
This was our biggest event and a sign of how our profession is growing, the importance of the issues we face, and how Canada is again stepping up to the plate.
Privacy Commissioner of Canada Philippe Dufresne delivered his first-ever annual address in which he highlighted his compelling three-pillar vision for privacy, shared his 15 concrete recommendations to Parliament on Bill C-27, and announced he would be investigating ChatGPT in collaboration with his provincial colleagues. The thought-provoking Ian Kerr memorial address by Kristen Thomasen centered on the rights of individuals — or lack thereof — in public spaces.
Colleagues grappled, bantered, debated and shared insights on issues like the role of privacy pros in governing artificial intelligence, understanding and applying deidentification, anonymization and other privacy-enhancing technologies, the impacts and requirements of the Quebec law, and so much more. This week’s IAPP member spotlight was on theme, featuring a friendly and talented Canadian privacy professional.
In my own wacky version of the Newlywed Game, we had six commissioners onstage (Canada, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec) who showed their human side, had some silly fun and simultaneously dove into some important privacy topics. We also learned whether they are dog or cat people and if they put their pants on via the left or right foot first. Apparently, my questions were too binary because sometimes people put both pant legs on at the same time. Perhaps we will try multiple choice next year!
This is just a snapshot of a week filled with too much to enumerate here. Suffice it to say the IAPP did a stellar job, once again, of creating a forum where we can stimulate and support privacy pros. So many of you showed up and brought you’re A-game in order to contribute to the broader goal of advancing the profession. It’s been wonderful to connect with so many old friends and colleagues and welcome those who have just joined into the fold. If you’ve been among us in Toronto, I hope you have been enriched by the experience. If you were unable to attend, I hope you will consider making the case next year.
On that note, have a great weekend everyone.
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