Gaining community’s trust is the foundation on which Canada’s digital and data-driven economy will be built. This was one of the topics in the Vancouver International Privacy & Security Summit, discussed on May 6, 2021. In the virtual meetup, panelists shared their opinions about the role of the Government in assuring the privacy and safety of Canadians on the cyber space. Legislations are proposed with the intention to create trust; however, the legal landscape in Canada is facing multiple challenges.

Dr. Teresa Scassa – The Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Policy at the University of Ottawa, commented that Canada’s data protection law is fragmented. The fast-changing pace of the data environment asks for the Government’s quick act to modernize the framework. Nevertheless, the two main audiences of the legislation have opposite interests. While citizens want more rights for data security, businesses prefer laws that enable a more flexible use of data to innovate and grow. This tension is one of the causes of the fragmented data policy.

Sunny Jassal, the Director Cyber Security at BCIT, also gave similar thoughts about this issue. He stated that BCIT is using Zoom to deliver its online classes; however, the audio and video connection would be so poor if the institute was to properly follow BC’s data protection law. Therefore, organizations are having a hard time to maintain their services while complying with Canada’s federal and municipal policies.

From Transform Smarter’s point of view, Canadians put their trusts on the Government, who takes the leadership role in protecting the community when the Canada goes digital. Multiple actions have been made; however, developing a successful framework for data governance that balance between citizens’ concerns and economic growth remains as a challenge. As the economy continues to be data-driven, there is no doubt that fostering a trusted digital community is necessary, and requires more time, effort and care.

For more information, please visit Vancouver International Privacy & Security Summit