The Startup’s Guide to Privacy: Turning Privacy into a Competitive Advantage – MaRS Best Practices MaRS Discovery District, Toronto, ON

This is an event announcement. Register Here

On January 28, 2016, Canada, along with many countries, will celebrate Data Privacy Day. Recognized by privacy professionals, corporations, government officials, academics and students around the world, Data Privacy Day highlights the impact that technology is having on our privacy rights and underlines the importance of valuing and protecting personal information.

MaRS Discovery District and Privacy Horizon have teamed up to offer this special program for entrepreneurs and startup companies. Learn what you need to know to turn privacy into a competitive advantage.


1:30 – 2:00 p.m. – Registration

2:00 – 2:30 p.m. – Welcome and introduction to privacy: Brendan Seaton (Privacy Horizon Inc.)

2:30 – 3:00 p.m. – Privacy and the law: Stephen Whitney (Norton Rose Fulbright)

3:00 – 3:30 p.m. – Gap assessment workshop (bring your laptop, tablet or smartphone): Brendan Seaton (Privacy Horizon Inc.)

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. – Panel discussion: Who cares? Your customers, your investors and your regulators: Mark Kohler, CPA, CA, ICD.D (Exelerate Capital), Vance Lockton (Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada)

4:30 – 5:00 p.m. – Startup’s guide to privacy: Patrick Lo, CIPP/C, CISSP (eHealth Ontario)

5:00 p.m. – Closing remarks: Brendan Seaton (Privacy Horizon Inc.)

Who should attend?

This program will be of interest to any startup that is developing innovative solutions that involve the collection, use, disclosure or retention of personal information. This session is relevant to:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Developers (those working with mobile apps, the Internet of Things, or the cloud)
  • Customer experience personnel
  • Sales and marketing specialists
  • Board directors
  • Investors

What will you learn?

  • Fundamentals of privacy and Privacy by Design
  • Key areas of the related legal landscape, including legislation, regulatory sanctions, class action lawsuits, agreements and contracts
  • Privacy expectations of customers, regulators and investors
  • Tools and resources to help you build privacy into your products and services


Brendan Seaton, Founder, Privacy Horizon

Brendan Seaton is one of Canada’s leading experts in the management of e-health privacy, security and safety. He is the founder of Privacy Horizon, a company dedicated to providing privacy education, tools and resources for Canadian healthcare organizations and companies. Brendan has more than 30 years of experience in health service administration, information system project management, and information privacy and security in both the public and private sectors.

Since 2000, Brendan has trained more than 1,000 privacy officers and specialists from across Canada. In 2013, he was designated as a Privacy by Design ambassador by former Information and Privacy Commissioner for Ontario, Dr. Ann Cavoukian.

Brendan has a passion for privacy and healthcare. He has dedicated his life to ensuring that Canadians can have both.

Stephen Whitney, Of Counsel, Norton Rose Fulbright

Stephen Whitney has significant international expertise in complex technology transactions. He works with companies of all sizes, from startups to international corporations, drafting templates and negotiating agreements. He regularly advises on privacy and data protection, export controls, lawful access, product and service legal and regulatory compliance, content regulation, and legal policy and regulatory compliance.

Stephen worked previously at BlackBerry, where he oversaw the devices and emerging solutions team and the global regulatory team. During this tenure, he helped the company enter and grow their business in Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and the Caribbean. In doing so, he gained deep mobile and technology sector expertise as well as an understanding of how legal, cultural, political and business issues can intersect to create challenging problems that require creative and practical solutions. Stephen has completed innovative deals with a wide range of technology companies in Canada, the US and other countries around the world.

Mark Kohler, Chairman & CEO, EXELERATE Capital

Mark Kohler is Chairman and CEO of EXELERATE Capital, a private advisory group that provides services in strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and governance/risk/compliance (GRC) to healthcare technology organizations and private equity funds in Canada, New York and California. Mark leads the group’s growth capital investing activities at EXELERATE Health. He has over 28 years of senior executive and operational experience leading public and private organizations in North America and has also served as a chairman, corporate director and advisory board member for some of Canada’s leading healthcare technology and financial services companies.

Mark has a BComm from Queen’s University, and a Certified Corporate Director (ICD.D) designation from Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto). He is also a Chartered Professional Accountant, and a member of the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS), and Canada’s Health Informatics Association (COACH).

Vance Lockton, Senior Analyst, Stakeholder Relations, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Vance Lockton is Senior Analyst, Stakeholder Relations in the Toronto office of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC). His primary role involves developing and maintaining strong relationships with private-sector stakeholders, with three primary end goals:

i. Encouraging proactive compliance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

ii. Advancing industry awareness of OPC findings, guidance and other materials.

iii. Increasing the OPC’s knowledge of current industry practices, as well as the challenges faced by organizations and technology developers, as they relate to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.

Vance holds a BMath and an MSc in computer science, as well as an MPP in public policy.

Patrick Lo, Senior Program Director, Identity, Access and Privacy, eHealth Ontario

Patrick Lo has more than 20 years of experience in the field of information privacy. An expert in the development and implementation of privacy programs, he is also a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and a Certified Information Privacy Professional/Canada (CIPP/C).

As Senior Program Director for the Identity, Access and Privacy portfolio at eHealth Ontario, Patrick is accountable for strategy and planning, and the product management and adoption of the provincial client and provider registries within the healthcare sector. Previously, he led the privacy office at eHealth Ontario, and built the province’s first “eHealth Privacy Centre of Excellence”—establishing eHealth Ontario as a leader in the development and implementation of privacy best practices. Before joining eHealth Ontario, Patrick held executive positions in the private sector focused on the development and implementation of privacy and data protection programs across the Canadian healthcare sector.