Editor's note: Privacy rights advocate

Okey Chigbo, Editor of CPA Magazine, introduces the features in the December 2014 issue.

A 2013 survey of Canadians conducted for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada found that 71% think that "protecting the personal information of Canadians will be one of the most important issues facing our country in the next ten years." (Survey of Canadians on Privacy-Related Issues, conducted by Phoenix Strategic Perspectives Inc.) In addition, most Canadians think their ability to protect their personal information is declining; the majority are not sure how new technologies will affect their privacy. Privacy is clearly a key issue for Canadians, and CPA Magazine’s decision to make it our cover feature for December reflects that importance.

In June, Daniel Therrien was selected as Canada’s new privacy commissioner. Therrien came to this important role of advocate for the privacy rights of Canadians from the Department of Justice, where he had practised law since 1981. Writer Yan Barcelo interviewed him, and an edited version of the interview can be found here. Therrien answers questions on Bill C-13, which includes providing law enforcement agencies with additional tools to investigate cybercrimes, as well as the important one of whether privacy is increasingly being sacrificed to national security concerns.

In Protecting Privacy, Barcelo examines the threats to privacy that emerge from the brave new networked world. A sifting of big data by a company interested in your habits can reveal things about you or your family that you possibly did not know. Barcelo writes: "A prevalent worry in civil rights defence groups is that, under the guise of protecting the public from cybercriminals and terrorists, government and corporations are paving the way to a future police state." Frightening words.

If you work in a corporation and are looking for ways to improve the bottom line without affecting cash flow, have you considered corporate barter? One of the (simplified) ways it works is by trading underperforming assets to a firm that handles barter and picking up items it has in stock from other corporations. For more on this, read Deanne Gage’s Trade Secrets.

The world is on its way to downloading more than 100 million apps daily by 2017, writes Mary Teresa Bitti in Apps On Tap. Yes, there is an app for practically everything these days, and that’s why we have compiled a top 10 list of apps that can improve your productivity. How about an app for remembering all your passwords? Fascinating stuff.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: in January/February, CPA Magazine will be running a special issue on sustainability. In keeping with the theme, there will be no paper version of this issue, and the entire magazine will be in digital format only. Readers will be notified by email on how to access the magazine in the various digital formats — web, apps and flash edition.