On April 30, 2021, Ontario released its first-ever Digital and Data Strategy, laying the groundwork for Ontario’s long-term digital and data transformation with an ambitious vision for Ontario to become a world-leading digital jurisdiction. The strategy responds directly to feedback from Ontarians, who said:

  • They would like to know that their personal data is secure
  • They want data privacy and protection to provide Ontario businesses with a competitive advantage
  • They expect government to manage and share data more effectively

Ontarians told us that government can improve economic and social growth across the province by providing better access to public data. To unlock the economic value of Ontario’s data, we are exploring options for a new provincial Data Authority. This Authority could support Ontario’s economic recovery by creating new ways to access data while protecting the privacy of Ontarians. The Data Authority could also assist key strategic sectors and service providers by streamlining the process of accessing government data to make it easier and more convenient for all Ontarians.

Have your say

Beginning in August 2021, we are seeking feedback from the public and stakeholders to understand how government data can be better leveraged for economic recovery and the public interest.

This includes feedback on key issues regarding:

  • access
  • technology
  • privacy
  • data security and governance
  • equity

As we evaluate potential options for this initiative, we want to hear your thoughts on several important questions, which are grouped under the following four themes:

  1. Ensuring privacy and transparency
  2. Increasing access to high-value government data
  3. Improving data delivery
  4. Promoting equity and responsibility

In order to make the consultations as accessible as possible, we are offering multiple ways for you to engage with us. These include:

  • Town halls: An open opportunity for the public to hear about the most recent updates on the Data Authority. These meetings will also be spaces to directly participate and share your thoughts through polls and other interactive tools.
  • Long-form submissions: Groups interested in providing detailed written responses to the theme-related questions within the Data Authority page are encouraged to submit long-form submissions by email.

Your feedback will be used to inform the overall project plan and provide critical insights into how the Data Authority can be as useful as possible for Ontarians, businesses, and organizations.

Themes and goals

The Data Authority will lay the groundwork for greater data sharing in Ontario, supporting economic and social growth.

We want your feedback about each of the Data Authority initiative’s key themes, and what they could deliver for Ontarians.

Theme 1: ensuring privacy and transparency

Ontario Digital and Data Strategy commitment:

"Your privacy is protected, and you are safe when you interact or do business online."

I know how the Data Authority is managed, and I feel confident that it operates in a way that is inclusive, effective, and safe for myself and the general public.

Questions for discussion

  1. How could government safely increase access to high-value, high-quality data? What are some key privacy considerations in doing so?
  2. Should data be licensed out for the public good (and revocable, if necessary), or should it be used without restrictions?

Theme 2: increasing access to high-value government data

Ontario’s Digital and Data Strategy commitment:

“You have access to the data you need to make good decisions for your health, education, life, or business.”

The Data Authority helps ensure the availability of the valuable provincial information and data I need.

Questions for discussion

  1. What kinds of data are especially valuable to you?
  2. How will increased data sharing and getting access to government data benefit you or your organization?

Theme 3: improving data delivery

Ontario’s Digital and Data Strategy commitment:

“You are at the centre of more convenient, reliable and accessible tools that make it easier to navigate government services.”

The Data Authority can allow me to access high-quality data in a timely and safe way.

Questions for discussion

  1. Do you find government data easy to find and use? If not, what are the obstacles?
  2. How should the Authority provide and deliver data to Ontarians to support economic recovery and future growth?
  3. Are there additional services you believe the Data Authority should provide (i.e., advanced analytics and visualization tools for data)?

Theme 4: promoting equity and responsibility

Ontario’s Digital and Data Strategy commitment:

“You have the right skills and access to participate, work and thrive in a digital world.”

The Data Authority is accessible and can work for anybody (or any business), enabling me (or my business) to thrive in the digital world and help Ontario grow.

Questions for discussion

  1. Data sharing is a complex and evolving space. How can we ensure the Data Authority equitably supports Ontarians, businesses and communities?
  2. Do you feel organizations and businesses are capable of identifying and using the relevant government data they need?
  3. How do you see yourself, your business, or your community using government data?

How to Participate

Read the Digital and Data Strategy.

If you need the files in an alternative format, please contact digital.government@ontario.ca

Submit your feedback

After reading our Digital and Data strategy, you can submit a written submission to digital.government@ontario.ca by August 31st, 2021.

We appreciate your interest and answers to our questions. If you prefer, you can share your thoughts on specific theme(s) that are of particular interest to you or your organization.

Your privacy matters

Please note that this is a public consultation. All responses received will be considered public and are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The submissions may be used by the Ontario Digital Service for consideration in project planning for the Data Authority. This may involve disclosing some or all comments or materials, or summaries of them, to other interested parts of the Ontario government during and after the consultation.

Please do not include personal information in your responses. If you have any questions about this consultation or how any element of your submission may be used or disclosed, please email the Ontario Digital Service at digital.government@ontario.ca.