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    Update: British Columbia Gets New Information and Privacy Commissioner

    The privacy office of British Columbia in Canada went through upheaval in January. In a letter to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in January, the executive director of the B.C. Office of the Privacy Commissioner said that operations had ceased because Commissioner David Loukidelis’s resignation on Jan. 19 meant “no one in the office can make valid delegations until an acting commissioner is appointed” because the delegation of powers had lapsed. After the letter was made public, an interim commissioner was chosen: Attorney Paul Fraser, who was Conflict of Interest Commissioner for British Columbia.

    Now, the Times Colonist reports that Elizabeth Denham was appointed (pdf) Information and Privacy Commissioner in British Columbia. In her previous position as Canada’s assistant privacy commissioner, Denham investigated privacy practices at social-networking site Facebook.

    Denham has served as the country’s assistant privacy commissioner since 2007. She spearheaded a high-profile investigation into the way Facebook handles user information, which pushed the company to revamp the way it handles and shares personal information from more than 200 million users worldwide. She launched a follow-up investigation into Facebook early this year after a complaint that the default setting of the new privacy options presented to users actually made a person’s information more readily available than before the changes. […]

    During her tenure in the federal privacy czar’s office, Denham also urged Internet search giant Google to better blur the faces of people it captures on its Google Street View cameras. […]

    Her appointment as B.C.’s privacy watchdog comes with a six-year term, although an exact start date has not been announced.

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