Landmark Resolution Passed to Preserve the Future of Privacy

By Office Of The Information And Privacy Commissionerontario, PRNE
Thursday, October 28, 2010

International Data Protection Commissioners Pass Privacy by Design Resolution Sponsored by Dr. Ann Cavoukian, With a View to Protecting Privacy for Future Generations

TORONTO, October 29, 2010 - A landmark resolution by Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner,
Dr. Ann Cavoukian, was approved by international Data Protection and Privacy
Commissioners in Jerusalem today at their annual conference.

The resolution recognizes Commissioner Cavoukian's concept of Privacy by
Design - which ensures that privacy is embedded into new technologies and
business practices, right from the outset - as an "essential component of
fundamental privacy protection." The resolution, which was co-sponsored by
Canadian Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart and Commissioners from
Berlin, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, and Estonia, also:

    - Encourages the adoption of the principles of Privacy by Design as part
      of an organization's default mode of operation; and

    - Invites Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners to promote Privacy by
      Design, foster the incorporation of its Foundational Principles in
      privacy policy and legislation in their respective jurisdictions, and
      encourage research into Privacy by Design.

"We live in an era of enhanced surveillance: data mining, behavioural
profiling, targeted and discriminatory practices, and cloud computing,"
Commissioner Cavoukian told her counterparts from around the world. "If we
want to preserve the privacy that so many of our freedoms rest upon, beyond
the next decade, we need to commit to a new approach, and we need to do it

Citing ubiquitous connectivity, new paradigms of information sharing, and
online social media that have emerged over the last few years, Commissioner
Cavoukian called the current moment "a tipping point" for privacy.

"Unless we act now, privacy as we know it will be gone - lost beyond our
grasp - by the year 2020," said Commissioner Cavoukian earlier this week
during a key plenary address at the 32nd International Conference of Data
Protection and Privacy Commissioners.

Today's resolution marks a sea-change in how the international community
will go about preserving privacy, well into the future.

"The velocity of the market drives development of new technologies at a
dizzying pace, far beyond what legislative efforts can keep up with,"
Cavoukian stated. "Reactive regulatory measures alone are no longer
sustainable as the sole vehicle for ensuring the future of privacy. This
resolution is a commitment to taking swift action now to implement the
principles of Privacy by Design and make privacy the default, going forward."

Privacy by Design (PbD), a concept developed by Commissioner Cavoukian
back in the '90s, is being adopted globally by a growing number of
organizations and jurisdictions. It prescribes that privacy be built directly
into the design and operation, not only of various technologies, but also of
business processes and networked infrastructure. Instead of treating privacy
as an after-thought - "bolting it on after the fact" - PbD is proactive and
preventative in nature - a highly effective approach in today's world of
increasingly interconnected technologies and extensive data collection. (For
more information, see

    For further information:

    Media Contact:
    Bob Spence
    Communications Co-ordinator
    Direct line: +1-416-326-3939
    Cell phone: +1-416-873-9746
    Toll free: 1-800-387-0073

Media Contact: Bob Spence, Communications Co-ordinator, Direct line: +1-416-326-3939, Cell phone: +1-416-873-9746, Toll free: 1-800-387-0073, bob.spence at

will not be displayed