Canadian Anonymization Network Launched

The Canadian Anonymization Network ("CANON") is an informal network, comprised of data custodians from across private, public and health sectors, whose primary purpose is to promote anonymization as a privacy-respectful means of leveraging data for innovative and beneficial purposes.


Co-founded by AccessPrivacy, Privacy Analytics, Symcor and TELUS, and thanks to our other sponsors Bell, Rogers, TD and TransUnion, CANON has quickly grown to include some of the largest data custodians from private, public and health institutions across the country, all with the common goal of promoting anonymization as a means of leveraging responsible use of data for economic and socially beneficial purposes.


In his announcement on Tuesday, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) unveiled Canada's new Digital Charter, along with proposals for modernizing the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).  The document is filled with encouraging signs of support for codes of practice and industry standards.  Among some of the areas the Government will be consulting on are:  


  • concepts of de-identification and pseudonymization;
  • acceptable threshold of re-identification risk;
  • prohibitions against intentional re-identification; and
  • possible new governance models, such as data trusts.   


Today's public launch of CANON is a timely stakeholder-led initiative to begin to collectively address many of these and related questions over the next few months.