The government of Canada has launched a Digital Charter regarding key data principles and privacy protection. As part of this Charter, the Standards Council of Canada has established a Data Governance Standardization Collaborative (DGSC), which includes experts and stakeholders from all public entities, the data sector, and civil society as a whole. DGSC sheds light on the need for data governance standardization strategies. DGSC was established in May 2019 as a multisectoral governance entity to speed up the development of industry-wide data governance standardization strategies in line with stakeholder needs. It also aims to facilitate the development of data governance capabilities in accordance with national and global priorities. To provide a clear picture of the current reality of Canadian standards and the desired outputs, this participatory initiative will offer a comprehensive roadmap to explore these areas. DGSC will also make recommendations to address gaps and discover new areas where standards and conformity assessments are needed, in addition to proposing national and global standardization initiatives, and making recommendations about timetables and entities capable of performing this task.
DGSC consists of four working groups supervised by a Steering Committee, each assigned to four different tasks. The first group examines the fundamentals of data governance, including interoperability, cybersecurity, privacy, ethics, accountability, and authentication. The second group focuses on data quality and collection means and equipment. The third group considers issues related to data access, sharing, and retention, as well as how to develop IT systems that support this process. The fourth working group tackles data analytics and commercialization, including AI solutions, machine learning, model creation, and licensing. These groups work collectively and collaboratively.
DGSC was not directly assigned the task of standard development, as its role is to articulate the needs and suggest consistent standardization activities, minimize duplication of efforts, and enable stakeholders to focus their resources on achieving these efforts. DGSC will conduct a survey on the surrounding environment and a gap analysis to review the various needs of stakeholders. On another note, DGSC is tasked with identifying high-priority topics in data governance that would benefit from standardization efforts (including areas of interest to Canadians on an individual level), in addition to proposing national and global standardization initiatives, and making recommendations about suitable timetables and entities capable of performing this task. Finally, DGSC’s task includes the development of a comprehensive and clear roadmap approved by all members to reach standards that benefit entities and members of Canadian society.
DGSC held its first public meeting in January 2020 and invited thought leaders in the public and data sectors, as well as academics and standards development organizations to participate. Within this context, DGSC aspires to prepare a comprehensive roadmap and develop recommendations in 2020. For maximum benefit, the published standards will be made available to all, including public employees, community members, the private and academic sectors, and standardization entities at the national and international levels. The objective of these standards is to lay the foundations for new forms of commercialization, strengthen Canada's legal system, and provide better services to members of Canadian society. In light of the guiding principles associated with the standardization process, DGSC seeks to help companies benefit from the power of big data and artificial intelligence. These principles will also help Canadian entities understand the general regulations and legislation developed by the European Union for data protection.