Ann Cavoukian on why she resigned from Sidewalk Labs
TORONTO -- Former Ontario privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian says Waterfront Toronto recently "expressed no resistance" to her demand for companies working with the organization and Alphabet Inc.-backed Sidewalk Labs on their Toronto smart city to commit to de-identifying data as it is obtained.
Cavoukian says she believed a meeting with a senior representative of Waterfront Toronto on Monday to be a commitment to put in place the policy she has advocated.
Cavoukian previously resigned from her role as a consultant for the proposed high-tech Quayside project over concerns that data would not be de-identified at source.
She says the de-identification of data at source is so important because the smart city will likely be filled with sensors and other devices that will collect information 24/7, but their pervasiveness will make it to difficult to get consent from every person whose data is being collected.
Cavoukian didn't say whether she'd return to her consultancy role after being pleased with her recent meeting, but says she has told Waterfront Toronto she would be happy to help and work with them on the project.
In a statement to The Canadian Press, Waterfront Toronto says it has always been committed to protecting personal privacy, that it is currently exploring the methods available to ensure de-identification of data at source and is looking forward to further conversations with Cavoukian on the subject.