Ann Cavoukian is the former Information and Privacy Commissioner for the Canadian province of Ontario. Her concept of privacy by design,which takes privacy into account throughout the system engineering process, was expanded on, as part of a joint Canadian-Dutch team, both before and during her tenure as commissioner, she was hired by Ryerson University as a distinguished visiting professor after the end of her three terms as IPC. Cavoukian was appointed Executive Director of the Ryerson's Privacy and Big Data Institute in 2014. Since 2017, Cavoukian has been the Distinguished Expert-in-Residence of the university's Privacy by Design Centre of Excellence. Cavoukian was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1952 to ethnic Armenian parents Artin and Lucie Cavoukian, immigrated to Toronto with her family in 1958, she is the sister of photographer Cavouk Cavoukian. She holds a B. A. from York University and received an MA and Ph. D in psychology from the University of Toronto, where she specialized in criminology and law.
In the 1980s, she headed the Research Services Branch for the provincial Attorney General. She joined the Ontario provincial Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner in 1987. Cavoukian served as its first Director of Compliance followed by her appointment as Assistant Commissioner in 1990, she was appointed Commissioner in 1997, is the first Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario to have been re-appointed for a third term. Serving as an officer of the provincial legislature, the Commissioner is independent of the government of the day. On March 29, 2005, Commissioner Cavoukian spoke out against the adoption disclosure Bill 183, Adoption Information Disclosure Act, stating that the proposed law needed an amendment giving birth parents and adoptees from adoptions that occurred prior to the passing of this retroactive law the right, if desired, to file a disclosure veto to prevent the opening of their sealed files; the Adoption Information Disclosure Act received Royal Assent on November 3, 2005, without Commissioner Cavoukian's proposed disclosure veto.
On September 19, 2007, Justice Belobaba, of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled the Adoption Information Disclosure Act as unconstitutional – it breached section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and thus, the sections of the Act relating to access to birth registration information are invalid. On November 14, 2007, the government of Ontario introduced new adoption legislation that includes both a disclosure veto for adoptees and birth parents in adoptions that have taken place and promotes openness for adoptions where a disclosure veto is not registered and for all future adoptions; the Access to Adoption Records Act includes both a disclosure veto for adoptees and birth parents in adoptions that have taken place. On November 1, 2004, Personal Health Information Protection Act took effect granting the province of Ontario its first health information privacy legislation where it will govern the collection and disclosure of personal health information. Cavoukian had been an advocate of this legislation since the IPC was first formed in 1987.
The IPC is the oversight agency for the new law. As of November 1, 2004 patients who are denied access to their own personal health records, or who believe that their personal health information was collected, used or disclosed contrary to the new legislation, can complain to the IPC. During her tenure, Cavoukian issued eleven Health Orders under PHIPA. Cavoukian created the concept of Privacy by Design. In 2010 the annual assembly of International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution recognizing privacy by design as an essential component of fundamental privacy protection and it is a core part of the European Union GDPR regulations. In November 2007, the Toronto Transit Commission announced plans to expand its video surveillance program which resulted in a formal complaint to Commissioner Cavoukian from Privacy International, a U. K.-based organization, citing concerns that the TTC's proposed expansion was a violation of privacy laws. In response to this complaint, Cavoukian launched an investigation where she ruled that the TTC's expansion of its video surveillance system did not contravene any applicable privacy laws.
As part of her investigation, she made 13 recommendations to the TTC, which have all been implemented, she encouraged the TTC to conduct a pilot project to test the use of a privacy-enhancing video surveillance technology, developed by researchers at the University of Toronto. In 2017, Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. partnered with WATERFRONToronto to begin developing a smart city area in the 12 acre sector called Quayside. The Sidewalk Labs-WATERFRONToronto project was heralded as a premier example that "would develop a whole new district of Toronto as a working model of a new type of smart city". Quayside was referred to as "an experimental urban neighbourhood'from the internet up' "; the project was occurring within the larger context of the Smart Cities Challenge, a competition for $80 million in Canadian government funding. The Sidewalks Lab development raised concerns around the breadth and depth of information collected under the project's umbrella. "Quayside may be one of the most sensor-laden neighbourhoods in North America...
It's being imagined as the sort of place where garbage cans and recycling bins can keep track of when and how they're used, environmental probes can measure noise and pollution over time and cameras can collect data to model and improve the flow of cars, people and bikes throughout the day". It was noted that "Access to those systems and the use of that data, in this private-