Former Commissioner Dr. Ann Cavoukian: Never give up on privacy!

Socrates /

Posted on: March 18, 2020 / Last Modified: March 18, 2020

Dr. Ann Cavoukian was Ontario’s Privacy Commissioner for unprecedented 17 years and held the position during 3 different provincial governments. About 7 years ago, while still in office, I interviewed Ann Cavoukian on her original concept of Privacy by Design. [PbD] So if you haven’t seen it yet it may be best to start by watching our previous conversation first because I will try not to repeat any of the questions that I asked last time. In the meantime, Cavoukian’s PbD has gone global and has been translated into 40 languages and implemented in the European GDPR legislation.

During this 45 min interview with Dr. Ann Cavoukian, we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: the growth in understanding of the importance of privacy coinciding with the growth of surveillance; the moving personal story of how art saved the lives of the Cavoukian family during the Armenian genocide; the coronavirus pandemic, surveillance, privacy, and democracy; the racist and sexist false positives of facial recognition; the benefits of GDPR; Waterfront Toronto, Sidewalk Labs, and Toronto’s Smart City; the importance of data de-identification at source; upgrading the privacy laws in Canada; smart speakers such as Amazon’s Alexa; cryptography, software backdoors, and the keys-under-doormats campaign; PbD and AI Ethics.

As always you can listen to or download the audio file above or scroll down and watch the video interview in full. To show your support you can write a review on iTunesmake a direct donation or become a patron on Patreon.

Who is Ann Cavoukian?

Dr. Ann Cavoukian is recognized as one of the world’s leading privacy experts. Dr. Cavoukian served an unprecedented three terms as the Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada. There she created Privacy by Design, a framework that seeks to proactively embed privacy into the design specifications of information technologies, networked infrastructure and business practices, thereby achieving the strongest protection possible. In 2010, International Privacy Regulators unanimously passed a Resolution recognizing Privacy by Design as an International Standard. Since then, PbD has been translated into 40 languages! In 2018, PbD was included in a sweeping new law in the EU: the General Data Protection Regulation. [GDPR]

Dr. Cavoukian is now the Executive Director of the Global Privacy & Security by Design Centre. She is also a Senior Fellow of the Ted Rogers Leadership Centre at Ryerson University, and a Faculty Fellow of the Center for Law, Science & Innovation at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

Dr. Cavoukian is the author of two books, The Privacy Payoff: How Successful Businesses Build Customer Trust with Tyler Hamilton, and Who Knows: Safeguarding Your Privacy in a Networked World with Don Tapscott. She has received numerous awards recognizing her leadership in privacy, including being named as one of the Top 25 Women of Influence in Canada, named as one of the Top 10 Women in Data Security and Privacy, and named as one of the ‘Power 50’ by Canadian Business. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General of Canada for her outstanding work on creating Privacy by Design and taking it global (May, 2017), named as one of the 50 Most Impactful Smart Cities Leaders (November, 2017), named among the Top Women in Tech (December, 2017), was awarded the Toastmasters Communication and Leadership Award (April, 2018), recognized among the Top 100 Identity Influencers (February, 2019), and most recently, she was named among the Top 18 Global AI Influencers within the AI & Tech Space (February, 2019), was awarded the 2020 Canadian Women in Cybersecurity Lifetime Achievement Award In Recognition of Your Outstanding Contributions to Cybersecurity and Privacy in Ontario (March 2020).

Browse More

Transhumanist Manifestos and Dilemmas - A Decade and a Half of Reflection

Transhumanist Manifestos and Dilemmas: A Decade and a Half of Reflection

What´s Your Why?

Get Your Why before AI: Technology is The How, Not the Why or What

You're Fired. 3d rendering graphic composition on the subject of "Technological Displacement Of Jobs / Robotization".

From Mutual Dependence to Obsolescence: The Future of Labor in an AI-Driven Economy

Why I went Vegan

Our Future, AI and Veganism: 6 Reasons Why I Went Vegan


It’s Ethics. Not Tech Ethics.

Dr. Martin Shaw

Modern Bard Dr. Martin Shaw: Be a Story-maker for Your Times


Kevin Kelly on Wisdom and Excellent Advice for Living

Émile Torres Preview

Émile Torres on Transhumanism, Longtermism and Existential Risks