Privacy by Design is a concept that is virally spreading around the globe. The powerful concept of engineering privacy directly into the design of new technologies, business practices and networked infrastructure, in order to achieve the doubly-enabled pairing of functionality and privacy, has gained significant adoption by governments, researchers and industry, in any number of sectors.
Ninety per cent of the data in the world today was created in the last two years. It has been remarked, for example, that “[t]here was 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every two days, and the pace is increasing.”
Privacy by Design (PbD) is an approach to protecting privacy by embedding it into the design specifications of information technologies, accountable business practices, and networked infrastructures, right from the outset. It was developed by Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, in the 1990s, as a response to the growing threats to online privacy that were beginning to emerge at that time.
The revelations of Edward Snowden regarding the NSA have created a firestorm of controversy, bringing into question our very right to privacy. The absence of transparency and accountability by government intelligence agencies makes these revelations all the more troubling. This has prompted companies such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, AOL, LinkedIn and Yahoo to form a coalition called, Reform Government Surveillance, to demand that governments address the practices and laws regulating the government surveillance of law-abiding citizens. What is Canada doing?