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Canada Dashboard Digest | Notes from the IAPP Canada Managing Director, April 27, 2018 Related reading: Australia and Chinese Taipei join APEC's Cross-Border Privacy Rules System

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In less than a month, more than 500 (maybe even 600) privacy professionals are going to converge in Toronto for the IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium. If you haven’t already secured your place at the table, you’re running out of time.

Our list of keynotes alone is worth the price of admission. Check out the lineup here. But if you want more, here’s a snippet of some of the topics that will be discussed in sessions: blockchain, the EU General Data Protection Regulation and its effect in Canada, navigating the minefield of trying to do good things with personal health information, data breach notification tips (are you ready for Nov. 1?), and privacy implications to artificial intelligence.

There’s a lot more, obviously. My point is that this is going to be a supreme learning opportunity and the best networking you get all in one place.

One incident that I think will get discussed during the conference relates to this week’s news story coming out of Nova Scotia. We’ve provided summaries and links below, but let me take two seconds to whet your appetite. In an effort to be proactive with an open government initiative, the provincial government created a website that was supposed to make information more easily available. They messed up (aka, not doing privacy by design properly), and they accidentally made tons of personal information easily downloadable to anyone with grade-three computer knowledge. And, of course, that’s what one unsuspecting 19-year-old did. What was shocking to me is how the government reacted when they found out someone downloaded their files: They sent in the police. Sheesh!

My colleague David Fraser is now representing the young man the government labeled as a hacker. For what? For accessing the very information they made available?

I’m all for open government, but in this day and age, you’d think that people would get the privacy part down at the outset. My fear is that this blunder is going to set open government initiatives back because no one wants to be the next blunder. Here’s a tip: Hire a privacy professional who regularly attends the Symposium. They’ll be well placed to help get it right.

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