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National standard for data collaboration imminent

Updated: Jun 27

Canada announces 60 day public consultation period for Zero-Copy Integration, a new standard proposing fundamental improvements to the relationship between data and applications

For the past 2 years, the Data Collaboration Alliance has participated in the Technical Committee for Zero-Copy Integration at the CIO Strategy Council, Canada’s primary national forum that brings together forward-thinking chief information officers and executive technology leaders to mobilize on common digital priorities.

Zero-Copy Integration defines a set of principles for building new applications more efficiently and collaboratively while simultaneously ensuring that data stakeholders, including end users, retain meaningful control of the information for which they are the rightful owner.

The need to introduce enhanced data cotrol has become particularly vital with the advancement of Canada's B C-27 which proposes a new Consumer Privacy Protection Act which will introduce fines of up to $25 million or 5% of gross global revenue (whichever is greater) for the misuse of consumer data.

In the press release for the announcement, Chris McLellan, Director of Operations at the Data Collaboration Alliance, was quoted as follows: 

“Zero-Copy Integration represents a foundational—and welcome—shift in digital solution design that signals the beginning of the end for the database silo. In IT environments where generating unrestricted copies of sensitive data between apps hosted around the globe is considered routine, this framework offers a major course correction. It simultaneously reduces the risks associated with data compliance and the mounting costs of data integration while greatly enhancing data-centric innovation."

Framework for collaboration-based innovation

The draft standard for Zero-Copy Integration identifies the following core principles as the key to replacing data chaos and copies with control and collaboration:

🧠 Decouple data from applications (eliminate data silos)

⚡ Access-based collaboration (not copy-based integration)

🤗 Federate data governance via data products (aka data mesh)

🔐 Set universal access controls at data-level (avoid fragmented code-based controls)

💡 Prioritize the use of active metadata (over complex code)

🧱 Build modular digital solutions (avoid monolithic design)

Zero-Copy Integration for organizations

Zero-Copy Integration is designed for an audience of IT, application, and data architecture professionals who are facing complex data integration challenges:

🤲 Simplify data architecture, data pipelines, and code base

🚀 Increase capacity via the elimination of database silos and point-to-point data integration

🔒 Establish next-gen data governance and de-risk data operations

Zero-Copy Integration for people

The adoption of Zero-Copy Integration has the potential to impact the digital experience of millions of employees, consumers, and citizen stakeholders, including children:

🙂 More control of personal data, including access, portability, and right to be forgotten

⚡ More responsive and personalized digital experiences

🤯 Opportunities to participate in data collaboration (democratized IT)


Getting involved

Professionals and members of the public are invited to comment via the Committee Page of the CIO Strategy Council website.

The deadline for comments is August 16, 2022. After the public review period closes, Technical Committee 1: Data Governance will review and disposition all comments received.


Contact Julia Hancock, Senior Project Manager, Standards, CIOSC