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PM reappoints privacy watchdog Add to ...

Jennifer Stoddart - who drew international attention for successfully taking on Facebook, Google and other corporate giants - will continue as Canada's Privacy Commissioner for another three years.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the re-appointment Wednesday, ending the uncertainty hanging over the position as Ms. Stoddart approached the expiry of her initial seven-year term next month.

Ms. Stoddart's widely-praised tenure saw her take over a commission mired in an expenses scandal and internal politics in the wake of George Radwanski's tenure, only to transform it into a leading international voice for privacy rights.

"Jennifer Stoddart is extremely well qualified to continue in the role of Privacy Commissioner of Canada," the Prime Minister said in a statement. "She brings to the position considerable expertise in privacy protection issues and a deep understanding of the importance of open and transparent government. I am pleased that she has agreed to be nominated to continue in this important role."

The nomination will be tabled in the House of Commons for a review by MPs.

The commissioner reports to Parliament and has the power to investigate alleged breaches of Canada's privacy laws. The office also has a mandate to protect and promote privacy rights.

In October, Ms. Stoddart made headlines by reporting that an investigation by her office found Veterans Affairs officials made alarming breaches of a Gulf War veteran's privacy.

However at the time, Ms. Stoddart said her report was not able to point fingers or punish individuals for the breach because the privacy laws governing public servants are badly outdated.

 

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