Truth be told, there wasn’t a ton of privacy-focused news in the media during this (short) first week of 2022.
There were a few articles about a Conservative MP who asked the OPC to investigate the federal Public Health Agency’s use of “de-identified cell-tower based location data” to understand people’s travel patterns during the pandemic. The story actually broke Christmas Eve, but I was busy eating fondue on the ski slopes. I’m not going to jump to any conclusions here, but I’ll be interested to see how things unfold.
Other than that, as we see each year, several folks made their predictions for what we might see in privacy land in the coming year, like these by ITWorld, focused on legislative reform in Canada. There’s also this overview of anticipated developments on the international front for 2022, by our good friend, IAPPer Omer Tene, now with Goodwin.
I haven’t jotted down my own list of predictions for this year. I did have a wish list for Christmas gifts though! Last year, I asked for legislative reform for Christmas, but Santa didn’t come through. Maybe this year, right? It certainly looks that way and it would be nice to move forward. But enough about that.
I would actually prefer to start the year on a more positive note, especially given some of the chaos and uncertainty right now, with the ever-lingering virus. That’s why I’m flagging some exciting Canadian privacy news, hot off the presses this week.
This week it was announced Replica Analytics, a Canadian company focused on synthetic data, which is a modern privacy-enhancing technology that helps organizations responsibly use and share data more freely, was acquired by New York-based health care analytics company Aetion. Replica was co-founded by Khaled El Emam, who many of you know within the privacy community as an expert in anonymization. He will be staying on with the company and it will operate as a subsidiary.
What I really like about this story is it shows, yet again, Canada has internationally recognized talent in the privacy space. I think it’s also a great example of how there is innovation happening in privacy generally, as well as new innovations that can help protect privacy, while advancing other important interests. It’s also pretty cool to see organizations recognize that privacy is good for their business.
Anyway, I’ll leave you with that. I want to wish everyone a stellar 2022 and I really hope we’ll be able to gather again in person this year. Have a great weekend!
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