Jennifer Stoddart is a strategic advisor in the Privacy and Cybersecurity Group. She is a recognized leader in the field of privacy. She has held a number of senior positions in the public service of both Québec and Canada.
Jennifer was the Privacy Commissioner of Canada from 2003 to 2013. In that position, she oversaw numerous investigations involving the virtual world, including the personal information protection policy of a social networking website and data security vulnerabilities of an American retail giant.
Previously, she was the Chair of the Commission d'accès à l'information du Québec from 2000 to 2003; during her term, the Commission released a report entitled Reforming Access to Information: Choosing Transparency. This report led to major changes to the legislation governing access to information and the protection of personal information.
She has also held positions on the Human Rights Commissions of Canada and Québec.
Jennifer has been very active on the international scene in seeking better protection for Canadians’ data and has led numerous personal data protection initiatives. As Commissioner, she was active in the work of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). She chaired the groups that worked on the adoption of the Guidelines governing the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data in 2007 and the update to the Privacy Guidelines in 2013. From 2014 to 2016, Jennifer co-chaired the proceedings that led to the OECD Recommendation on Health Data Governance made by the ministers of health of OECD members in January 2017. Those recommendations sought to achieve public policy objectives in healthcare while ensuring that privacy and security risks are reduced to a minimum and properly managed.
Jennifer was also involved in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) with the aim of developing methods of protecting personal information involved in trade in the Asia-Pacific region.
With her extensive experience in the field, Jennifer brings her expertise to her work for clients on issues that include organizations’ compliance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), the status of Canadian legislation, and current and future international trends in this area.
Over the years, her achievements have earned her a number of distinctions. Jennifer was named an Officer of the Order of Canada “for her international leadership in privacy rights and for her exemplary public service as the Privacy Commissioner of Canada”. The Québec Bar has recognized her with the distinction of Advocatus Emeritus and the Christine Tourigny Award of Merit, and the Université du Québec à Montréal awarded her the Prix Reconnaissance for her commitment to Canadians’ privacy rights. She has also been named twice as one of the Top 25 most influential lawyers in the justice system and legal professions in Canada by Canadian Lawyer magazine. In addition, she has received honorary doctorates from the University of Ottawa and McGill University.
Jennifer is currently involved in a variety of organizations and committees. She is a member of the Committee on the responsible conduct of research, reporting to the Chief Scientist of Québec. Jennifer is a member of the board of directors of Génome Québec and is a Visiting Scholar at the Centre of Genomics and Policy of the McGill University Faculty of Medicine.
Jennifer is very involved in the community. She was named honorary Colonel of the 34th Combat Engineer Regiment. She is a mentor with the Women’s Executive Network (WXN), an organization that focuses on empowering women and creating positive social change. She also contributes to the mentorship program developed by the McGill University law faculty and coaches second-year students by providing personalized advice. She is co-author of the book History of Women in Quebec over Four Centuries.