Therrien (2016). The Consent Dilemma.

Therrien, D. (2016, July 5). The Consent Dilemma – Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Retrieved April 10, 2017, from

“Legally, organizations must obtain consent to collect, use and disclose an individual’s personal information, subject to a list of specific exceptions.”

“… meaningful consent …”

“But is it fair to assume average Internet users are able to demystify complex business relationships and algorithms?”

“Currently my Office plays a more reactive role. We generally investigate complaints after a violation has occurred. Would it be reasonable to give my Office the authority to oversee compliance with privacy legislation more proactively, before problems arise?”

“… based on informal discussions I have had with European colleagues, I am not certain that Canadian and European laws are very different on these issues. It remains to be seen how European authorities would view Canadian laws post-Snowden. Certainly, we can all agree that many if not all countries are struggling to find the right balance between privacy and security.”

“In the end, we hope to be in a position to contribute real, concrete solutions to the consent dilemma and to identify what role individuals, organizations, regulators and legislators need to play if we are to truly help people exercise greater control over their personal information.”


See this page at