Jennifer Stoddart, Lawyer, Leader and Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Protecting Your Personal Information and Yourself in a Digital Age.
Jennifer Stoddart was appointed Canada’s Privacy Commissioner by the Governor in Council, effective December 1, 2003, on unanimous resolutions adopted by both the House of Commons and the Senate, for a seven-year term.
Since taking on this role, Commissioner Stoddart has overseen a number of important investigations, including those concerning the privacy policies and practices of the popular social networking site Facebook and a massive data breach at U.S. retail giant TJX, which owns Winners and HomeSense stores in Canada. The Commissioner also led efforts to help private sector organizations understand their obligations under the Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) in the first years after the legislation came into force. She is working to promote online privacy for young people through the Office’s new website, www.youthprivacy.ca.
Given Canada’s international trade patterns, Commissioner Stoddart has become involved in global privacy issues through her work with international organizations such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which are examining ways to protect and enhance privacy rights on a global scale. In 2007, she hosted the 29th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, which brought together some of the world’s foremost data protection experts.
Commissioner Stoddart was previously President of the Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec, an organization responsible for both access to information and the protection of personal information. She has held several senior positions in public administration for the Governments of Québec and Canada, including at the Canadian and the Québec Human Rights Commissions. Commissioner Stoddart has been active in the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, and has also lectured on history and legal sciences at the Université du Québec à Montréal and McGill University. She is a member of the Québec Bar.