Daniel Therrien was appointed Privacy Commissioner of Canada on June 5, 2014 after three decades serving Canadians as a lawyer with various federal departments where human rights issues were important.
Commissioner Therrien has said that the over-arching goal of his mandate is to increase the control Canadians have over their personal information. Shortly after his appointment, Commissioner Therrien was plunged into the debate over a new cyberbullying bill, legislation to reform Canada’s federal private sector privacy law and a review of the RCMP’s lawful access practices. He has also championed privacy rights in the public debate over national security and public safety, and led research and investigations into privacy issues that go to the heart of consumer trust and confidence. Commissioner Therrien has identified new strategic privacy priorities and strategic approaches that will guide the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s work in the coming years, and has spoken publicly on a range of privacy issues throughout Canada and around the world. He values collaboration and consultation and works with public and private sector stakeholders, academia, civil society organizations, consumer groups and individuals to help improve privacy protections for Canadians.
Commissioner Therrien began his career practising correctional law for the Department of the Solicitor General, the Correctional Service of Canada and the National Parole Board. He then practised immigration law at the Department of Justice and Citizenship and Immigration Canada, becoming Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Public Safety, Defence and Immigration Portfolio at the Department of Justice in 2005. In that capacity, Commissioner Therrien had a leadership role in giving legal advice to government on public safety and national security issues. He was also instrumental in negotiating the adoption of privacy principles governing the sharing of information between Canada and the U.S. under the Beyond the Border accord.
Commissioner Therrien holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Licence en droit from the University of Ottawa. He was called to the Quebec Bar in 1981.
Mounting calls for an overhaul to privacy and data protection regimes around the world have some countries enacting a new set of online rights for citizens, while others are embarking on needed changes. Explore how companies and governments are not only addressing privacy rules in changing regulatory environments, but more broadly the public responsibility for data.