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Canada Dashboard Digest | Notes from the IAPP Canada Managing Director, November 24, 2017 Related reading: Takeaways from record COPPA settlement

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It’s American Thanksgiving this week and that means that many of the IAPP staff who do all the real work to publish this digest will be digesting loads of turkey and watching football when you receive this email. That means I’m writing the introductory remarks much earlier in the week without the full advantage of knowing what’s in the news.

So, with this in mind, I thought I’d write about a topic that is related to the one I wrote about last week. That is, the content of some of the discussions at last week’s APPA conference. If you'll recall, last week I spoke about the panel I moderated where we discussed the challenge of getting the privacy message to SMEs.

At the other end of the spectrum was a panel discussion by representatives from Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. Talk about the opposite of an SME! Did you know that Google employs about 600 people to do privacy-related work? Another interesting stat was that, last year, 1.6 billion people who use Google logged in to monitor their account settings. About half of those changed the default settings. Sounds to me that people out there do care about controlling their personal information and take steps to customize their experience.

What about you? Do you regularly check out your account settings on the internet tools you use?

This issue is related to another topic that was discussed at length at the conference: The role of consent. Commissioner Clayton (from Alberta) made a good case for a hybrid model by explaining how her Health Information Protection Law works. Pippa Lawson used her time to say that consent, as used now, is a sham. It was a candid discussion!

In the end, I walked away from the conference with one clear goal in mind: to ensure that our Symposium next spring reignites these discussions in a dramatic and engaging way. That reminds me to provide an update on the Symposium program: This week also marks the first round of deliberations by the Canadian Advisory Board and, I must say, the program is already looking really good. Thanks to all who have submitted proposals. 

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