Since her appointment as B.C.'s Information and Privacy
Commissioner in May 2010, Elizabeth Denham has raised the profile
of information rights, promoted transparency in government, and
adopted a proactive approach to the enforcement of access and
privacy laws in British Columbia.
Promoting information rights is Commissioner Denham's top
priority. Ms. Denham has led investigations into several
high-profile privacy breaches and has completed systemic reviews
that examine the impact of new and emerging technologies on access
and privacy rights.
Ms. Denham has led the office to adopt a proactive approach to
the monitoring and enforcement of access and privacy laws.
A policy and technology team conducts systemic
investigations and monitors the latest developments in access and
privacy, identifying areas where future work is needed.
Ms. Denham is known for spearheading collaborative projects with
her federal and provincial colleagues. She co-authored
Canada's latest guidance called Getting Accountability Right with a
Privacy Management Program. The document has received international
attention for its innovative and practical approach, which
emphasizes privacy management programs as building blocks that must
be in place before programs are implemented and systems are
Ms. Denham has been a strong voice for the access rights of
British Columbians. A proponent of open government and open data,
Ms. Denham has called for the proactive disclosure of records and
published best practices for government ministries and public
Prior to her appointment in British Columbia, Ms. Denham served
as Assistant Privacy Commissioner of Canada (2007-2010), where she
led a ground-breaking investigation into the privacy practices of
Facebook which resulted in changes to the social networking site -
changes that were implemented on a global basis. She also led
the office's discussions with Google, which prompted improvements
to the company's street level imaging service in Canada. Prior
to her federal appointment, she served as Director, Private Sector,
for the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of
Ms. Denham is a frequent speaker on the many challenges of
protecting privacy in a networked world. She is a director of
The Privacy Projects, the Centre for Law, Ethics, and Applied
Research in Health Information, and a member of the IAPP Canadian
Advisory Board. She holds a Bachelor's degree in history and
a Master's degree in archival and information science from the
University of British Columbia.
In 2011, Ms. Denham was honoured as a UBC distinguished alumni
for her pioneering work in archives and leadership in the field of
access and privacy.