As our economy becomes more data driven, Canadians need a national data strategy that encourages innovation, provides security and privacy, that prioritizes transparency and oversight, and that transcends jurisdictional barriers.

Summary and recommendations

Companies that harvest data are increasing in power, and Canadians are understandably anxious about it. As our economy becomes more data driven—and as data becomes more valuable—Canadians need a national data strategy that provides a common framework for data security and privacy, that prioritizes transparency and oversight in the processing of data, and that transcends silos and jurisdictional barriers. Such a strategy must embrace an innovative future and, at the same time, protect our society’s most deeply held values.

To develop a national data strategy for Canada, governments must begin by:

  • developing a statement of values for a digital society
  • reforming data-protection and intellectual property laws to meet modern needs
  • setting rigorous data-security standards for big data and Internet of Things technologies
  • ensuring greater transparency and oversight of the algorithms used to process data

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