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Canada Dashboard Digest | Notes from the IAPP Canada Managing Director, June 26, 2015 Related reading: Australia and Chinese Taipei join APEC's Cross-Border Privacy Rules System

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Big box, big action movie buffs will know that the latest Terminator movie will soon be released. For those less aware, the Terminator is from the future and can travel through time.

I was thinking about those movies when I had the occasion this week to flip though the slides produced by the Future Agenda on the future of privacy. The Future Agenda is a not-for-profit, cross-discipline programme that tries "to unite the best minds from around the globe to address the greatest challenges of the next decade.” They’ve held several workshops around the world, including one in Toronto immediately before the IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium.  

The slides I reviewed are here. It doesn’t take long to get through them and they are well put-together. If you have the chance to check them out, I’d love to hear what theme or topic got your attention the most.

I thought I'd highlight just a couple of them here. First is the idea that personal information has a value. You might say, “No kidding,” but I think we are only now starting to truly comprehend what it means. The monetization of—and the ability to derive power from—personal information is a distinct shift within our society. It’s not surprising that the Future Agenda folks picked up on this theme—and I note that Canada’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner has made this one of its new key priorities too.

Second, there’s this slide: “Informed Consent: Given complex data flows, informed consent is increasingly challenging—so an alternative is needed. An accountability governance model incorporating ethics and respectful data use is a compelling substitute or compliment.” Are you prepared to say that consent is no longer needed as a fundamental principle in our privacy laws? My sense is that this debate about consent is really a discussion about the American and European approaches to privacy. With Canada generally falling somewhere in between, I can’t help but think what changes or expectations about consent will be coming down the pipe in the near future. 

The future of privacy, eh?

If only I had a crystal ball, or better yet, a Terminator Machine that could travel through time… It's an evolving area, for sure. And I think it's the nimble and adaptable privacy professional who is tailor-made to be part of these exciting discussions and solutions. 

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