Data Governance and Innovation White Paper

Data Governance and Innovation White Paper

A Whitepaper Series written by OSPE members

OSPE’s advocacy work is driven by our professional and experienced members. Over the past several months, members of our Data Working Group, a subgroup of our Research and Innovation Task Force, have used their expertise to write a series of white papers on Data Governance and Innovation.  These pieces include topics around Artificial Intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, public policy, business, as well as an analysis of the Data regulatory framework governing Canada.

To learn more about this work visit our podcast: Engineering the Future

Make sure to keep an eye out for our upcoming publications.

If you are a Data subject matter expert and interested in joining OSPE’s volunteer Research and Innovation Task Force or want to provide additional comments regarding this series of white papers, please email


Data Governance and Innovation White Paper
Beatrice Sze, P.Eng. J.D.

“Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.”

– Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web


This report is the result of thoughtful research and consideration from OSPE’s Data Working Group a subgroup within OSPE’s Research & Innovation Task Force. It is comprised of senior level Artificial Intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, public policy, business, and litigation subject matter experts. While this paper is not an in-depth academic literature review of peer-assessed research, it contains our observations as professionals in a wide variety of disciplines including law, engineering and entrepreneurship.

In his recent address at OSPE’s 2021 Engineering Conference, OSPE member Dr. Doug Reeve, Ph.D., P.Eng., quoted Yogi Berra “The future ain’t what it used to be.”[1] Dr. Reeve was speaking to the accelerated rate at which the complexity of the problems posed to engineers has evolved over his lifetime. Looking to the future, Dr. Reeve commented, “We need to add skills. We need to drive conversations. We need to change our culture. We need to add consciousness. We need to be leaders.” Data innovation is a field where this is urgently needed.

In recent years, the use of AI has seen exponential growth.[2] Consequently, law makers, civil rights advocates and engineers are wondering what new professional norms will govern this work. It is our aim to provide a starting point for this multi-stakeholder conversation.

Our review of this field has five parts:

  • The Potential of Artificial Intelligence
  • Cybersecurity: Data Governance & Information Security
  • The Current State of the Law: Data Regulation in Canada in 2022
  • Data and the Public Interest: Fair Questions from Civil Society
  • Building a Data Economy: Economic Growth & Prosperity

This series of papers is designed to pose thoughtful questions regarding emerging business opportunities and proposed data legislation. In each chapter, we have posed questions to the wider engineering community to encourage OSPE members to share their thoughts on this complex subject.

Our main goal is to help business leaders and policy makers understand the principles that underlie these tech-policy positions. A secondary goal is to start discussions and debate within the engineering community that will illuminate the knowledge and talent of Ontario’s engineers. If the pandemic has taught us anything it is the importance of connectivity, access, and thoughtful implementation. Since March 2019, it has been data-driven technology that has enabled many of us to stay connected to co-workers and loved ones. It is also data-driven technologies that has allowed our businesses and public institutions to continue to operate and thrive. But not everyone is able to participate in this new data economy. Some in our communities are being left behind.

Across the province, engineers have risen to the challenge of expanding and improving broadband access in our province, developing innovate ways of ensuring business continuity and providing essential services, and leading the charge on tracking the transmission of COVID-19 and vaccine roll-out.

Ontario engineers tackle complex, ill-defined problems every day. As a profession, we should be at the table leading the discussion on data innovation and regulation in our province.


[1] OSPE 2021 Conference Speaker – Prof. Doug Reeve, founding director of the Troost Institute for Leadership, P. Eng. “Keynote Address,” Oct 6, 2021.

[2] Whether applied to the financial sector, software product development, Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), smart infrastructure projects, or traditional industries like rail, construction, mining and even lega

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