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Canada Dashboard Digest | Notes from the IAPP Canada Managing Director, February 26, 2016 Related reading: IAPP, UN release joint report on building ethics into privacy frameworks

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A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. So the saying goes. And, the one story that made me laugh this week highlights this particular phenomenon in the privacy industry. The story, if you missed it, had the producers of "Jeopardy!" claiming that Canadian privacy laws were to blame for the fact that they weren’t allowing Canadians to try out for the show. The story is summarized below and you’ll see that they even had one of our most famous Canadians, Alex Trebek, try to explain their reasoning.

Ironic, isn’t it, that a show that purports to pit the most knowledgeable of contestants came up with the theory that Canadian privacy laws prohibit the exportation of our wisdom. Oh, if only it were so. I mean, if it were true, if only our laws prohibited the movement of our knowledge and talent from any trans-border data flow, then Canadian NHL teams would not only be in a playoff position, but one of our teams would regularly win the Stanley Cup, too.

And, that got me thinking: someone needs to do an analysis of how well Canadians have done on Jeopardy! in the past. Maybe we’re too good and someone had to dream up a way to prevent us from playing … I know ... let’s blame Canadian privacy law! That makes sense.

Oh well. It is true that as privacy laws, policies and standards around the world evolve and become more complex, it is becoming more difficult to understand everything that is going on or assume some pretty silly interpretations. So I guess the folks at Jeopardy! can’t be blamed too harshly for relying on the little knowledge that they had on this. 

Have a great weekend everyone.

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