Did you know that every January 28th is Data Privacy Day?
Canada first recognized Data Privacy Day in January 2008 using this day to educate and raise awareness of privacy and data protection issues across all sectors collecting accessing, using, disclosing, storing personal and personal health information.
In keeping with Europe’s Data Protection Day, January 28, 1981 is the date of the first legally binding international treaty addressing data protection, Convention 108. While this Convention is important for numerous reasons (including its development of the basic principles of privacy protection), it speaks to privacy as a human right*.
Canada unfortunately is only beginning to adopt a human rights-based approach to privacy. For example, key federal legislation such as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Document Act (PIPEDA) governing data privacy in the private sector is seriously limited in its ability to respond to rapid changing technology such as social media leaving Canada ill-equipped to deal with important issues such as the right to be forgotten.
Data Privacy Day, however, is a chance to reflect on the amazing data protection practices we have in Canada as much as reminding us of where we need to step up. As researchers and data centres dependent on administrative data, we need to be constantly striving to identify the balance between privacy best practices and safeguards, and data access for informed research.
At HDRN Canada, we think of every day as Data Privacy Day! If you didn’t recognize Data Privacy Day on January 28th it’s not too late. Take a moment to reflect on your privacy practices and how you can incorporate stronger privacy safeguards into your work. And check back here often as we’ll be posting data privacy advice and tips on an ongoing basis.
*Convention 108 Article 1: The purpose of this Convention is to protect every individual, whatever his or her nationality or residence, with regard to the processing of their personal data, thereby contributing to respect for his or her human rights and fundamental freedoms, and in particular the right to privacy.