Joining the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) in 2012, Brent is currently the director general for the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) investigations. This position includes oversight of the OPC’s Toronto office with its dedicated enforcement and stakeholder engagement programs. In the area of electronic privacy threats, Brent oversees the OPC’s anti-spam legislation program, including its first address-harvesting investigation (2016 Compufinder).
Brent’s accomplishments in the privacy world include key digital society and economy matters, such as overseeing investigations relating to Ashley Madison (2016), the Bell Relevant Advertising Program (2015), Google Online Behavioural Advertising (2014), and Apple Transparency (2014).
With a rich background in international enforcement, Brent has joined forces with global partners, co-leading multiple international investigations including the Ashley Madison joint-investigation with Australia (2016) and the first international joint investigation in the field of privacy with the Netherlands (against WhatsApp). Brent also conceptualized and spearheaded the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) Privacy Sweep, now in its fourth year and involving 26 privacy authorities from around the globe (2016 Sweep – Internet of Things).
Prior to his appointment at the OPC, Brent was assistant deputy commissioner at the Competition Bureau of Canada, where he led numerous high-profile misleading advertising investigations in the areas of price representations, ecommerce and health fraud. In the area of price representations, he led the Bell Canada Inquiry that resulted in a $10 million penalty under the misleading advertising provisions of the Competition Act. In the area of health, he led the Tobacco Inquiry into the use of “light” and “mild” descriptors, culminating in the removal of this labelling from cigarette packaging across Canada.
Brent holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Carleton University, and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Ottawa.