TORONTO – It’s no secret that choosing the winner of the Ontario Bar Association’s (OBA) Karen Spector Memorial Award for Excellence in Privacy Law can be a difficult task. While there was no shortage of exceptional members of the bar worthy of this award, it was unanimously agreed that the accomplishments of Jennifer Stoddart as Canada’s Privacy Commissioner made her the obvious choice to be recognized this year. Ms. Stoddart will be presented with the award during a dinner ceremony in Toronto on October 18, 2010.
“During her tenure as Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Commissioner Stoddart has transformed the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) into a pre-eminent privacy regulator in Canada and around the world,” said Laura Davison, chair of the OBA’s Privacy Law Section. “Under Commissioner Stoddart’s leadership, the OPC has become a strong and effective organization, and a driving force for ensuring privacy keeps pace with a rapidly changing environment.
Commissioner Stoddart was selected for her role in establishing Canada as a leading regulator on privacy issues. She has served as Canada's federal privacy commissioner since 2003; prior to her current role she served as president of Québec's Access to Information Commission. During her tenure as Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Stoddart has focused on a number of issues that include youth online privacy, cross-border data protection and coordinated global privacy enforcement.
A longtime supporter of public advocacy and education in data protection, Commissioner Stoddart spearheaded the creation of a contributions program for not-for-profit organizations and consumer groups that advances privacy and data protection research, policy and education. The program has awarded more than CAN$2 million to more than 60 different initiatives since its launch in 2004.
Most recently, she led an unprecedented collaboration involving 10 data protection authorities on four continents who issued a joint statement regarding the respect of privacy laws by technology companies launching new products. Her office is the first data protection authority to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the practices of a leading social networking service.
The Karen Spector Memorial Award was established to recognize, honour and celebrate the outstanding achievements of Ontario Bar Association members practising in the area of privacy law. The award is named for the late Karen Spector, who established one of the first legal practices dedicated to privacy law in the province.
Anyone interested in attending the October 18th event can purchase tickets through the OBA by going to www.oba.org/pd or calling 1-800-668-8900.
The OBA is the voice of the legal profession in Ontario. As a branch of the Canadian Bar Association, the OBA represents more than 17,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students across the province.
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