Ontario government announces task force to develop data strategy

The Ontario government has announced the members of its Digital and Data Task Force looking to get insight into developing a provincial data strategy.

The Digital and Data Task Force will use its public consultations to create a draft document for the data strategy.

In February, the province stated plans to seek public input for the development of the strategy, which aims to protect citizens’ data and find new opportunities for businesses. Online consultations closed March 7 as part of the first phase of the project; this second phase will see the government conduct public consultations over the summer across six locations in the province.

Linda Mantia, former senior executive vice-president and group chief operating officer at Manulife, will chair the task force. Bryan Smith, CEO of government and enterprise data processing company ThinkData Works, will act as vice chair.

The task force itself includes members from a variety of backgrounds. It includes Bilal Khan, managing partner and head of Deloitte Data; Avner Levin, professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management; Maithili Mavinkurve, co-founder and chief operating officer of AI company Sightline Innovation; Shyam Oberoi, chief digital officer of the Royal Ontario Museum; Mark Sakamoto, an investor and executive vice-president of cloud-based healthcare solutions company Think Research; and Kirsten Thompson, a partner at Dentons Canada.

The Digital and Data Task Force will use its public consultations to create a draft document for the data strategy, and hopes to finalize the strategy by fall 2019 with continued public input.

In phase one of the project, more than 700 Ontarians responded, providing some insight into how Ontarians feel about the way data is currently handled. Eighty-three percent of respondents stated that they felt businesses do not do a good job of explaining what they plan to do with the public’s data. A majority also indicated that they believe the government should be able to securely share data among ministries to streamline interactions between citizens and government.

Image courtesy Firmex

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.