Collaborating to tackle Data Governance
It is one of the most crucial questions in an information economy: who will own, control and benefit from the vast ocean of data it generates? Canada’s Digital Charter underlines the importance of standardization to help ensure Canadians and their businesses prosper in this new and rapidly evolving global environment. The most important currency in society is trust. Without it, we lose confidence in the systems and institutions that bind us together. Ensuring trust in the management of data is of absolute importance and we must act decisively to ensure an open and reliable system of data governance . In response, the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) has convened the Canadian Data Governance Standardization Collaborative, a group of committed experts and stakeholders from across government, industry and broader civil society tasked with articulating the need for clearly-defined standardization strategies for data governance.
Creating a level playing field through standards
Taking Action - the Canadian Data Governance Standardization Collaborative
What is the Collaborative’s role?
How will we get there?
How can I get involved?
Canada is committed to a level data playing field and the promotion of transparency, portability, and interoperability across domains. If Canadians are going to succeed in the rapidly expanding global data marketplace, they will need to know that data is being handled by organizations committed to a compatible and equitable set of standards for data governance.
Establishing a robust and reliable set of standardization strategies for Data Governance will require close collaboration among government, private industry and broader civil society – which includes not-for-profits and non-governmental organizations representing specific, collective interests within society, including those of individual private citizens.
SCC established the DGSC in May 2019 as a cross-sector coordinating body with the objective to accelerate the development of industry-wide data governance standardization strategies. It is led by co-chairs Anil Arora , Canada’s Chief Statistician, and Philip Dawson , the Public Policy Lead at Element AI, an artificial intelligence products provider based in Montreal, Canada, and a global thought leader in the adoption of responsible AI.
The DGSC is not tasked with developing standards. Its role is to articulate needs, propose coordinated standardization activity, minimize duplication of effort, and enable stakeholders to focus their resources in this effort. The DGSC's one, overarching task is to accelerate the development of industry-wide data governance standardization strategies that are:
- consistent with stakeholder needs, and
- facilitate the growth of data governance capabilities in line with national and global priorities.
As a consensus-builder and facilitator of the standardization system, the DGSC has four principal tasks:
- Identify Canadian priority areas for Data Governance that might benefit from standardization, including areas of particular interest to individual Canadians;
- Conduct an environmental scan, gaps analysis, and catalogue stakeholder needs;
- Deliver a comprehensive and consensus-based roadmap describing the current and desired Canadian standardization landscape, including recommendations to address gaps and new areas where standards and conformity assessment are needed; and,
- Propose national and international standardization initiatives and recommend the appropriate timelines and organizations that can perform the work.
In addition to Statistics Canada’s Anil Arora and Element AI’s Philip Dawson, who are co-chairs of the Steering Committee, the DGSC Steering Committee consists of thought leaders from government, industry, academia and standards development organizations. The Steering Committee will lead the DGSC and the development of the final roadmap.
The data governance life-cycle is very complex and dynamic, undergoing continual evolution and adaption, with many parties involved. To develop the roadmap, the DGSC takes the approach of conducting a life-cycle assessment of data governance, from data collection, through access and sharing, and ending with data analytics and commercialization. To inform the development of the roadmap, four working groups have been established and mirror this approach.
The following working groups involve more than 200 representatives in academia, civil society, consumers, standards development organizations, government and industry:
Working Group 1 - Foundations of Data Governance
- Joni Brennan, President, Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC)
- Carole Piovesan, Partner and Co-Founder, INQ Data Law
Working Group 2 - Data Collection, Organization and Grading
- Eric Rancourt, Director General, Statistics Canada
- Michel Girard, Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)
Working Group 3 - Data Access, Sharing, and Retention
- Charles Taillefer, Director, Privacy and Data Protection Policy Directorate, ISED
- Evgueni Loukipoudis, PhD, Chief Technology Officer, Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster
Working Group 4 – Data Analytics, Solutions, and Commercialization
- Grace Abuhamad, Element AI
- Maithili Mavinkurve, COO & Co-Founder of Sightline Innovation
The Steering Committee provides oversight and guides the working groups where needed. The DGSC’s roadmap will identify existing standards and standards in development. It will also identify gaps and make recommendations to fill them, establish priorities for action, and suggest organizations to do the work.
Canadians will have opportunities to provide comments and feedback by participating in the broader public consultation, before the draft roadmap is finalized. The goal of the consultation is to ensure that all of the issues have been captured. Public consultation sessions will be happening in fall 2020. More details to come. For further information, please contact: Anneke Olvera, DGSC Secretary, , 613-238-3222 ext. 474.
Once the draft roadmap is finalized, it will also be shared for public comments, before the final roadmap is finalized and published.