Countdown to Data Privacy Day activities raise awareness about online
threats to privacy and highlight the importance of limiting personal
OTTAWA, Jan. 23, 2012 /CNW/ - "Less is more" when sharing personal
information online says Canada's Privacy Commissioner Jennifer
The Commissioner is delivering this message as part of her Office's
countdown to Data Privacy Day, which is marked annually by organizations around the world on January
"We are living in a digital age, where our online activities can easily
be tracked, stored, shared and analyzed, and we are under constant
pressure to share more personal information," notes the Commissioner.
"But given the power and complexity of today's technologies, we should
all be thinking less is more when it comes to sharing personal information on the Internet."
Canadians are the world's biggest Internet users, logging an average of
43.5 hours of online browsing per month, almost twice the global
average, according to a recent global ComScore report on Internet use
and online trends. However, many do not fully understand the
implications this has for their privacy. Once their personal
information is on the Internet, they have very little control over who
sees it, how it is used, or how long it will be available. "By sharing
less personal information, we can help limit our exposure and the risks
of our personal information being misused, abused or disclosed without
So, whether we are social networking, using an app on a mobile device,
or signing up for discounts and deals, we need to think carefully about
the personal information we are putting into cyberspace.
"Less is more" is also good advice for businesses and organizations that
collect personal information notes Commissioner Stoddart. "Collecting
and holding excess data raises the risks for your customers, but it is
also costly for your business," she warns. "It increases your risk of
data breaches—which can be damaging to your reputation and expensive to
This week, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada joins
governments, privacy professionals, corporations, academics and
students from around the world, in marking Data Privacy Day, an annual
international celebration designed to promote awareness about privacy
and education about best privacy practices.
In support of Data Privacy Day, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner
of Canada will be engaging in a number of activities in the week to
leading up to January 28, such as the launch of some new youth privacy
tools, and presentations to youth, public servants, businesses and
staff. The Office has also produced some new resources, such as posters
and graphics which can be used to raise awareness of privacy in any
organization. For more information on the Office's Data Privacy Day
activities and resources, go to www.priv.gc.ca.
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada is mandated by Parliament to act as
an ombudsman and guardian of privacy in Canada. The Commissioner
enforces two federal laws for the protection of personal information:
the Privacy Act, which applies to the federal public sector; and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which applies to commercial activities in the Atlantic
provinces, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Territories. Quebec,
Alberta and British Columbia each has its own law covering the private
sector. Even in these provinces, PIPEDA continues to apply to the
federally regulated private sector and to personal information in
interprovincial and international transactions.
SOURCE Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
For further information:
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
NOTE: Journalists are asked to please send requests for interviews or further information via e-mail.