Ontario’s First-Ever Digital and Data Task Force Will Help Ensure Privacy is Protected and Promote the Benefits of the Data Economy

Ontario Education Minister Lisa Thompson
Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Minister’s Digital and Data Task Force and second phase of consultations to help shape Ontario’s Data Strategy

TORONTO — Ontario’s Government is putting people first by unveiling the next phase of consultations for Ontario’s Data Strategy, ensuring all Ontarians have a say in how the data policy is shaped and how their personal privacy is protected.

Today, Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, announced the members of the Minister’s Digital and Data Task Force, who will provide expertise and insights into developing and implementing a best-in-class Ontario Data Strategy.

“The Task Force is a leading group of experts appointed based on their knowledge, skills and backgrounds,” said Thompson. “Through the work of the Task Force and these public consultations, we will create an Ontario Data Strategy that will promote public trust and confidence, stimulate economic growth and enable better, smarter, more efficient government.”

The second phase of consultations will include public and industry roundtables in six locations across the province: Sault Ste. Marie, Sarnia, Stratford, Ottawa, Peterborough and Toronto. In addition to these in-person sessions, online options launching this summer will enable all people and businesses from across the province to share their input from anywhere, at any time.

“Our government recognizes the tremendous potential of emerging data technologies,” said Thompson. “We’re looking to better understand how we can drive innovation and create economic opportunities through these technologies for people and businesses across Ontario. At the same time, we are committed to ensuring personal privacy protection and building a better, smarter, more accountable government — one that earns and keeps the trust of Ontarians.”

The in-person consultations will run over the summer, from July through September.

“During our first round of online consultations, the people of Ontario told us we need stronger data protections in place, and that they want to know and have control over how their data is used,” said Thompson. “Ontario’s Data Strategy will address their concerns.”

“Data matters to every person and business in Ontario,” said Linda Mantia, Chair of the Minister’s Digital and Data Task Force. “As our economy becomes more data-driven, Ontarians need a strategy that inspires innovation while providing security and personal privacy. That’s why I’m excited to lead this Task Force and advise the Ontario government on how to unleash the full potential of a digital and data-driven economy.”

Quick Facts

  • Global business revenues for big data and business analytics products and services are forecasted to reach $189 billion (US dollars) in 2019.
  • The Ontario Data Strategy will focus on three key pillars of activity: promoting public trust and confidence, creating economic benefits, and enabling better, smarter, efficient government.
  • The Data Strategy will be developed in consultation with the public, and in response to recommendations in Ernst and Young’s Line-by-Line Review and the Auditor General’s December 2018 report.

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