Privacy Commissioner Releases Annual Report and Survey on Privacy Attitudes

Privacy Commissioner of Canada Jennifer Stoddart has issued her annual Privacy Act report, which chronicles the year in privacy from a public sector privacy perspective.  The report places the spotlight on the ongoing frustration with a woefully outdated privacy law and the mounting concern with identity theft, cross-border data transfers, and Internet harms such as spam.

Interestingly, the Commissioner has also released the results of a nationwide Ekos study on Canadians' attitutes toward privacy. The results make a convincing case that good privacy is also good politics.  Among the more notable results:

  • 80% of Canadians place great importance on having strong privacy laws, despite the fact that more than half of Canadians are not aware that Canada actually has privacy laws in place.
  • 77% of Canadians believe in security breach disclosure laws where sensitive information is compromised and 66% believe such laws are needed even for non-sensitive information
  • Only 17% of Canadians believe the govenrment takes protecting personal privacy seriously.  That number dips to 13% of Canadians who believe businesses do so.
  • 72% of Canadians believe spam is a significant problem.

The full Ekos study is available here.


  1. Hey, since you are involved in net neutrality issues, what do you think of Comedy Central being blocked in Canada? If one tires to access Comedy Central from a Canadian IP, they get redirected to the CTV-owned Comedy Network.

  2. It’s Off-Topic, But…
    …that’s not a net neutrality issue as it is usually framed, because it’s not the carrier making that decision – it’s the website owner.

    Net neutrality only guarantees neutral access to the door – it says nothing about whether that door will open for you.

  3. spam
    Spam is a significant problem indeed. Because of spam and all the filters you have to apply in order to not be inundated by unsolicited messages the email system is not reliable anymore (you’ll never know if an important message will hit the destination or will be stopped by one of those filters). Email system spoiled by spam is completely useless. Sending message in a reliable way needs a completely new technology where nobody can send you a message without your permission. Filters do not work and never will.

  4. 72% of Canadians believe spam is a significant problem.
    The other 28% of Canadians believe Spam makes a tasty value meal.