, an associate in the St. John’s office of Cox & Palmer, recently acted as co-chair of the first annual conference entitled “Privacy and Access Rights in the Age of Technology: The State of Canadians’ Information Rights in 2010 and Beyond” held in Ottawa, Ontario September 19 and 20, 2010.
Canada is a global leader in privacy and access to information law, on both the federal and provincial levels. Privacy and confidentiality of information is protected in the private and public sectors, and is balanced with the concepts of transparency and accountability. However, the rights provided in the laws are evolving as new technologies and global developments create challenges for both privacy and access. Issues of privacy on the internet and consumer rights in an electronic health system are pushing the boundaries of existing legislation. In the access sphere, technology is facilitating a shift from reactive disclosure to "open government".
The conference, presented by the National Privacy and Access Law Section and the Professional Development Committee of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), brought together regulators and access administrators from the federal and provincial governments to discuss these challenges. They were joined by some of the foremost thinkers in academia and industry as well as lawyers and privacy professionals from within government and the private sector.