Ontario’s new commissioner highlights privacy’s significance

Patricia Kosseim, who has become Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC), has spoken of privacy’s importance during the coronavirus pandemic.

“In this time of global turmoil and change, upholding privacy and access rights is more important than ever. The health, social and economic upheavals we are currently facing continue to test our sense of normalcy, posing some of the toughest privacy and accountability challenges yet,” she wrote in a blog to coincide with her taking up the job.

“In many jurisdictions, including Ontario, we’re seeing a sharp rise in data privacy and access issues at the intersection between public, private and health sectors.”

She pledged the IPC would continue to keep a steady focus on the data issues which matter most to Ontarians, informed by the broader international policy context and what is going on in the rest of the world.

Kosseim has been senior general counsel and director general at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada in Ottawa, privacy and data management counsel at Canadian legal practice Osler, and has held executive positions at non-profit research organisation Genome Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Her term as IPC is for five years. She succeeds Brian Beamish.

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