Big Data — an umbrella term encompassing the collection, retention and use of a massive volume and variety of data about individuals — presents a number of unique challenges that are increasingly undermining privacy rights. Canada’s Personal Information and Electronic Documents Ac (PIPEDA) established a legal foundation for protecting the online privacy rights of individuals, but new safeguards should be put in place to further prevent loss or resale of data, surveillance and tracking of an individual’s location, and misuse of data by corporate actors. Authors of the eighth Junior Fellows policy brief, Samantha Bradshaw, Kyle Harris and Hyla Zeifman, recommend that there be clearer guidelines indicating the length of time for storage of data; reinforced benefits to storing privacy-sensitive Canadian data on local clouds, to prevent jurisdictional privacy and security risks; clear and accessible Terms of Service agreements; and limits on third-party sharing and resale of collected data.

The CIGI Junior Fellows program at the Balsillie School of International Affairs provides masters level students with mentorship opportunities from senior scholars and policy makers. Working under the direction of a project leader, each junior fellow conducts research in one of CIGI’s program areas. This series presents those policy briefs that met CIGI’s publications standards.