TORONTO, Sept. 26 /CNW/ - Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner
Ann Cavoukian is unveiling a key white paper outlining what will need to be
done to protect privacy in the future, at a special presentation at the
University of Waterloo, on Monday, September 29, 2008.
"As a regulator, I have been called many things during my tenure," said
the Commissioner, "but rarely have I been called a dreamer. But that is
precisely the practice one must engage in if privacy is to not only survive,
but thrive, well into the future. But dreaming is not enough. As a pragmatist,
I must embed that dream into reality. One way of doing so is seeking to embed
privacy into the design and architecture of all technologies, so that it may
live well into the future. So you might call me a radical pragmatist, because
I dream BIG - in technicolour; there is no black and white anymore."
The paper the Commissioner is releasing is Privacy and Radical
Pragmatism: Change the Paradigm, which was previewed at the Harvard Privacy
Symposium last month. It sets out the Commissioner's vision, philosophy and
approach to advancing information privacy in the 21st century, in a positive
sum, privacy-enhancing paradigm.
"Taking a pragmatic approach requires that we understand not only the
potential harm of surveillance technology, but also the proposed benefit,"
said Commissioner Cavoukian. "We must then work to incorporate a positive-sum,
privacy-enhancing paradigm to decrease the harm to privacy, but also to
achieve the benefits that the technology in question was designed to deliver -
positive sum, not zero sum."
Among the points she raises in this white paper, regarding how radical
pragmatism can actually be applied are:
- Engineering privacy into biometric information systems is not only
desirable and possible, but may also be accomplished in ways that
achieve positive-sum results for all stakeholders. Biometric
Encryption (BE) technologies are a good example of how privacy and
security can both be increased in a positive sum model. BE offers
viable prospects for one-to-one, on-card matching of biometric, and
privacy-enhanced verification of identity in a wide range of contexts;
- Among the most promising consumer privacy-enhancing technology (PET)
solutions in the radio frequency identification (RFID) sector is the
"clipped tag" RFID developed by IBM, which helps to defeat unwanted
surveillance, thereby delivering greater privacy. Similar innovations
in user-centric RFID PETs have far-reaching consequences and
commercial potential for use in RFID-embedded identity documents,
ayment tokens, mobile authentication, and other authorization-form
factors (e.g., transit fare cards, loyalty cards);
- The Commissioner also cites in this white paper: CCTV secure image
encryption, privacy-enhanced network tracing and monitoring, whole
body imaging, private digital identities, and privacy-enhancing age
The Commissioner's presentation to faculty, students and special guests
at the University of Waterloo Monday is at 11 a.m., in the lecture theatre in
the Hall of the Humanities.
The paper will be posted to the IPC's website, www.ipc.on.ca, about
12 p.m. on Monday.
For further information:
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