I think the biggest news this week was the story about the advocate general in Europe releasing an opinion that puts the Safe Harbor agreement between the U.S. and Europe in jeopardy. Time will tell if this opinion results in any meaningful change, but from reading up on the topic, one shouldn’t be surprised if it does result in changes to transborder data flows around the world.
One might suggest that we're lucky that in Canada our federal law was declared adequate by European standards, leaving the door open for data to flow into Canada. However, should this opinion on the adequacy of the Safe Harbor agreement actually result in changes between Europe and the U.S., I don’t think it’s a far stretch to suggest that Europeans will reexamine Canada’s status as well. After all, can you definitively say that privacy protection in Canada is better than it is in the U.S.? I think maybe there was a time when I would’ve hollered “Yes!”—but I wouldn’t say that categorically today.
With the opinion on the adequacy of Safe Harbor and the impending passage of a brand new—and quite progressive—privacy regulation in Europe, I think we are really starting to see the Europeans flex their privacy muscles. And I think it's fair to say they are trying to shape privacy around the world.
What worries me in all of this is whether Canada will fade away and be the forgotten country. Or, will our government, and perhaps even our privacy commissioner, see fit to try and get Canada back onto—and to be a leader on—the world stage? All questions that I think are important and will help define our profession in the not-so-distant future.
Oh ... And on a different note, I’ve been told that the training spots for the upcoming CIPP/C training in Vancouver on November 10 and 11 are going fast. If you’re interested, better get signed up soon!
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