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Feds launch consultation initiative on digital and data transformation


June 19, 2018  


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Navdeep Bains, federal minister of innovation, science and economic development today announced the introduction of a national consultation initiative on digital and data transformation.

“New technologies have changed the way that we access information, shop, live, socialize and work,” a release from his department stated.

“As a result of these changes, our economy has transformed to become increasingly data-driven and critical innovations and unparalleled economic opportunity have been unlocked. At the same time, the digital transformation has brought with it new and uncharted challenges surrounding the changing nature of work, privacy, information and consent.

“Digital innovation is essential to growing our economy, attracting investment and creating middle-class jobs for Canadians, but the government recognizes that the potential of a data-driven economy must be balanced against Canadians’ right to have their data and privacy protected.”

Plans call for a series of roundtable discussions to take place this summer in order to “better understand how Canada can drive innovation, prepare Canadians for the future of work, and ensure they have trust and confidence in how their data is used.”

Bains led his first roundtable today with digital and data thought leaders on how to advance Canada’s competitiveness through the digital economy.

“Today, AI and big data are transforming all industries and sectors,” he said. “They are presenting new opportunities for innovators to create jobs and generate prosperity. We have an opportunity to build a digital legacy for Canada and to become a global innovation leader.

“However, to spur digital innovation, investment and job creation in Canada, citizens must have trust and confidence that their data and privacy will be protected. This consultation is a first step in making this vision a reality.”

According to the federal government:

* 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years.

* 87% of Canadians and 95% of Canadian businesses are connected to the Internet.

* 94% of Canadian businesses use personal data.

* Young Canadians spend on average five hours a day on the Internet.

* Global e-commerce reached US$1.9 trillion in 2016.

* Upwards of 8-9% of labour demand in 2030 will be in jobs that do not exist today.

* Canada ranks fifth in the OECD for creative thinking and ninth for problem solving in a technology-rich environment.

* Canada ranks fourth in the world on patents related to quantum computing.

* It is estimated that cybercrime will cost the world US$6 trillion annually by 2021.