Evidence of meeting #34 for Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was privacy.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Jennifer Stoddart  Privacy Commissioner, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
  • Chantal Bernier  Assistant Privacy Commissioner, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

12:40 p.m.

Privacy Commissioner, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Jennifer Stoddart

A third of all those who have access privileges to the CPIC system have not defined within that organization or institution who it is exactly that designated the individuals, so it becomes impossible to track who in an organization has accessed something without justification. As you know from reading media reports, every so often somebody in a police force accesses a database where he or she has no business.

12:45 p.m.

NDP

The Chair Pierre-Luc Dusseault

Unfortunately, I have to stop you there.

Ms. Davidson now has five minutes.

April 26th, 2012 / 12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thanks very much for being here, Commissioner and Ms. Bernier. It's great to have you back again. Certainly, I don't think the issue gets any easier, that's for sure. I think it becomes much more difficult as we venture further into the electronic age every year.

I was interested in the public education portion you were talking about, and I just want to ask a couple of questions about it. I think you had indicated that from grades 7 to 12 you were already involved with education, and that this year you were moving it to grades 4 to 6. Also, this year you were introducing more information for small business.

Can you tell me how you disseminate that information? You talked about curriculum, but is that something that is written into the provincial curriculums in all of the provinces? I realize that it's up to the provinces to decide what goes into the curriculum, at least in Ontario, and I'm assuming it is in the other provinces. I know, not from this issue but from other issues, that it's very difficult to get something added to the curriculum.

Is it in all provinces, or do you know that?

12:45 p.m.

Privacy Commissioner, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Jennifer Stoddart

I don't know that. As you say, honourable member, this is a provincial matter. We're always very careful to stay within our own jurisdiction, unless we are invited to do something. What we have concentrated on doing is making the tools and information available on either our website or through things we can distribute when they are requested.

There is an agency, the Media Awareness Network, I believe, that works with school boards across Canada. If they request information, we can give it to them through this Media Awareness Network. It is just an additional resource for teachers, without formally going through the channels.

We also have, in our contributions program, $500,000 a year we can distribute to non-profit organizations. Just yesterday I attended the launch of materials for grades 6 to 9 in Quebec, where an organization had developed a very interesting teacher's guide and guide for students that it is going to distribute. It's talking with contacts in the rest of Canada, and it could possibly be translated and used for classrooms.

We do things in a more informal way.

12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Sarnia—Lambton, ON

What about small business? How do you reach that group?

12:45 p.m.

Privacy Commissioner, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Jennifer Stoddart

For small business we have an online tool already on our website. We go through the organizations that are involved with small business—

12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Do you mean the chambers of commerce and those types of things?

12:45 p.m.

Privacy Commissioner, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Jennifer Stoddart

Yes, they are specific organizations that reflect small business. We're particularly talking with the chambers of commerce now to organize activities for the coming fiscal year.

12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Sarnia—Lambton, ON

One of you indicated that you were looking at a mobile privacy app being developed.

12:45 p.m.

Privacy Commissioner, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Can you comment any more on that? What is the timeframe, or what might the parameters be, or are you that far on yet?

12:50 p.m.

Privacy Commissioner, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Jennifer Stoddart

No, I can't. I have someone here who could probably talk to you more about the mobile app. I don't know more about the details, but we're bringing it out.

I can tell you, though, related to that and related to the younger segment of the population, that we're developing a graphic novel on privacy, because young people like to read graphic novels, it seems. This is supposed to be launched sometime in June. I don't know what it's going to look like or what it's about. The theme is “protect your privacy”. It's trying to reach this audience in a way that speaks to them.

12:50 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Sarnia—Lambton, ON

That sounds interesting and timely in the age we are in today.

Do I still have some time?

12:50 p.m.

NDP

The Chair Pierre-Luc Dusseault

You have 30 seconds.

12:50 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Quickly, going back to what Mr. Mayes had asked about, if somebody trying to cross the border is incorrectly profiled, is there an option for the individual to report that through your office? How does that work? I think you indicated, too, that audits could be based on concerns being expressed. What is the individual's option in an instance like that?