Data protection champions Pippa Lawson and Elizabeth Denham have been named PACC Fellowship Award winners for 2016.
“I’m delighted that the Privacy and Access Council of Canada has bestowed Fellowship Awards upon two of the most accomplished members of the profession – Elizabeth Denham and Philippa Lawson. Both women have had an outstanding and sustained impact on privacy and access to information rights in Canada and beyond,” said Sharon Polsky, president of the Privacy and Access Council of Canada.
The Fellowship Awards were announced to a packed audience at the 2016 National Privacy and Data Governance Congress in the presence of Senator James Cowan and Senator Michael MacDonald.
“I applaud the 2016 winners of the PACC Fellowship Awards for their outstanding achievements,” Ms Polsky said, “and offer special congratulations to Elizabeth Denham who – subject to final approval from Her Majesty The Queen – will soon start her five-year term as Information Commissioner of the United Kingdom.”
The Privacy and Access Council of Canada (PACC) received nominations for several privacy and access leaders from jurisdictions across the country.
The PACC Fellowship Awards recognize the important contributions made by members of Canada’s Information Privacy and Access-to-Information profession who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting and safeguarding access-to-information and privacy, and increasing awareness among Canadians – as well as the nation’s legislators and its public and private sector organizations – about their privacy and access-related rights and responsibilities.
About the 2016 PACC Fellowship Winners:
Elizabeth Denham has been the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia since 2010, and successfully raised the profile of information rights, promoted transparency in government, and adopted a proactive approach to the enforcement of access and privacy laws in British Columbia. She led investigations into several high-profile privacy breaches and completed systemic reviews that examine the impact of new and emerging technologies on access and privacy rights. She previously served as Assistant Privacy Commissioner of Canada (2007-2010), where she led a ground-breaking investigation into the privacy practices of Facebook which resulted in changes to the social networking site – changes that were implemented on a global basis. Prior to that, Ms Denham served as Director, Private Sector, for the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta (2003-2007).
Philippa Lawson is an internationally recognized privacy law expert and public interest advocate. She practised telecommunications, privacy and consumer protection law with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre for twelve years before starting up the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), a technology law clinic based at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. As managing director of CIPPIC, her work focused on establishing legal precedent in the public interest, producing relevant research and online resources, training students in effective advocacy, and ensuring that the public interest is robustly represented in policy development and law-making processes on issues involving new technologies.
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