e-Learning Course on Data Privacy & Anonymization


An introductory course intended to educate data recipients on the legal framework and disclosure risks for personally identifiable information. This course will develop expertise in the area of personal information privacy, and provide a greater understanding of the privacy obligations associated with the handling of personal information.

The course contains four e-learning modules and is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes in length.

Module 1: Introduction

This module provides an outline of the course content and introduces some key overarching concepts.

Module 2: Framework to Data Privacy

Anita Fineberg, a legal expert in data privacy, outlines the legal framework in Canada, and contrasts this with international laws. The distinction between primary and secondary purposes is discussed, including topics such as permitted uses and disclosures, consent, and how anonymization fits into the framework.

Module 3: Understanding Disclosure Risk

It is important to appreciate disclosure risks, the details surrounding well known re-identification attacks (e.g., AOL, Netflix Prize), and how risk can be reasonably managed in a framework that includes data sharing agreements, security and privacy practices. This module will also introduce guidelines and strategies for the sharing of anonymized data.

Module 4: Conclusion

This module recaps some of the important information presented in the course and provides an example of how data anonymization can be used in practice.

Funding for the development of this course was provided by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) Contributions Program. The views expressed herein are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect those of the OPC.