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Canada Dashboard Digest | Notes from the IAPP Canada Managing Director, July 3, 2015 Related reading: Australia and Chinese Taipei join APEC's Cross-Border Privacy Rules System

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I hope everyone had a great Canada Day. It’s always a great day to live in Ottawa—even if the weather wasn’t completely cooperative. I hope that the celebrations around where you live brought out your patriotism. I work with a lot of American clients, so I took the time send along this little video reminding them of what it means to be Canadian. (I’m sure you remember it from a few years ago but it’s still a feel-good rant.)

And, with the mid-week holiday, I needed some temporal adjusting because it feels like weeks ago that the government and Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) issued their thoughts on “transparency reporting.”  In fact, it was this past Monday, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about it a bit in this week’s Digest.

Transparency reporting is a relatively new phenomenon whereby private-sector organizations like telcos and large Internet companies, like Yahoo and Facebook, issue reports that detail how often they are asked to disclose the personal information of their customers.

Obviously, each company reports things slightly differently—some revealing a fair amount more detail than others. The point of the government and OPC work this past week was to start a dialogue to try and get some uniformity into the process. Some people criticized the government guidance because they felt it didn’t go far enough. But, in the end, I think it was a good first step, and hopefully we continue to debate and talk about it so the system can continue to improve.

The one ironic thing that is worth mentioning is that the government issued the guidance on transparency reporting … the same government that ignored the calls for better government transparency when passing Bill C-51. While I applaud the step in the right direction to get the private sector on board, I’m still left shaking my head as to what it will take to get the public sector thinking the same way. Transparency: If it’s good for industry, then it’s good for government. Pretty simple if you ask me.

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