Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s information and privacy commissioner, has issued her 2009 Annual Report, entitled “Access & Privacy, A Time for Innovation.” One of Cavoukian’s main subjects this year is the smart grid and the associated privacy issues, including the collection of knowledge about personal habits via “smart” appliances communicating with the grid. Cavoukian is a thought leader in building privacy into processes and controls and we’ve blogged about some of her writings in past issues. Her latest publication is worth consideration as we move further along with technological development – and before the grid becomes too smart.
And, Canada’s Assistant Privacy Commissioner is expressing concerns about the U.S. Secure Flight Program that will complete implementation and be fully operational by December. Under the program, passengers of any nationality who raise suspicions of U.S. authorities can be prevented from boarding flights that fly over U.S. airspace. Chantal Bernier told the Canadian Parliament yesterday that there is little Canada can do about it except urge the U.S. government to address extremely long data retention periods and other privacy concerns of Canadians. Under the program, Homeland Security may retain information collected (including name, birth date, flight information, itinerary and passport number) for periods ranging from a week up to 99 years.