On October 27, 2021, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (the OPC) released observations following a series of international engagements between data protection and privacy authorities around the world and four of the biggest video teleconferencing (VTC) companies: Microsoft, Cisco, Zoom, and Google (the Organizations).
Earlier this year, the OPC, along with privacy authorities from Australia, Gibraltar, Hong Kong SAR, China, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (the Joint Signatories), sent an open letter to several VTC companies commenting on the rapid recent expansion of VTC services and highlighting their concerns about whether the companies were implementing appropriate privacy safeguards in their platforms. The Organizations responded to the Joint Signatories’ open letter and described how they account for privacy principles in the design and development of their VTC services. This initial response led to a series of video calls between the Joint Signatories and the Organizations to discuss how the Organizations implement, monitor, and validate their privacy and security measures.
In its observations, the OPC discusses key areas that the Joint Signatories recognized as examples of good practice and recommended for adoption by the broader VTC industry. These areas include:
In addition to recognizing good practices, the Joint Signatures also identified the following areas for improvement:
Based on the success of the Joint Signatories’ discussions with the Organizations, the Joint Signatories expressed that the engagement process used in this instance may prove valuable in future circumstances where dialogue would assist in clarifying regulatory obligations, identifying good practices, and increasing public trust in emerging technologies.
Summary By: Imtiaz Karamat
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