The Privacy Commissioner's 2011 annual report on private-sector privacy
issues, tabled in Parliament today, examines some of the concerns
facing what some have called the "Internet generation." At the same
time, the Commissioner is launching a new graphic novel to help youth
better understand and navigate the privacy risks of the online world.
OTTAWA, June 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Young Canadians are facing a host of
privacy risks that previous generations never had to worry about - from
"nanny cams" to cell phone monitoring to a permanent trail of their
online communications, says the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
Youth privacy issues have emerged as a significant concern and are
highlighted in the Commissioner's 2011 Annual Report to Parliament on the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), Canada's federal private-sector privacy law. The report was
tabled in Parliament today.
"While the young show agility in using any new kind of digital
communication, and recognize the importance of protecting their
privacy, they are also often unsuspecting about the potential privacy
intrusions that can accompany novel technologies," says Commissioner
"All of that online communication creates a permanent record - and that
could carry risks to their privacy and to their reputations. Not just
today, but perhaps even more in the future."
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) has made youth
issues a major focus of its outreach and public education initiatives.
The OPC has developed a number of education materials, including
presentation packages for school and community use, a teen-oriented
video and a tip sheet for parents.
Today, the Privacy Commissioner is also launching another important tool
- a graphic novel called Social Smarts: Privacy, the Internet and You, which will help younger Canadians to understand and navigate privacy
issues in the online world.
"This graphic novel - a first for our Office - was developed with
feedback from youth. We hope it will help young people to understand
the risks to privacy when it comes to social networking, gaming and
texting," says Commissioner Stoddart.
The new graphic novel can be downloaded from the OPC's youth website.
The annual report also describes an OPC investigation into a complaint
about a daycare's use of webcam monitoring. A parent objected to the
fact that the webcam feed was being recorded and felt that appropriate
privacy safeguards were not in place.
During the investigation, the daycare centre agreed to take steps to add
privacy safeguards. The centre also deleted its saved video files and
modified its systems to no longer record the video stream. It
consenting to the webcam monitoring and required parents using the
webcam service to sign a contract agreeing to not record the webcam
feed and to keep confidential their password allowing access to the
video. As such, the OPC concluded that the complaint was resolved.
The annual report also details findings related to investigations of
three complaints against Facebook, as well as a wide-ranging complaint
against a youth-oriented social networking site, Nexopia. The
investigation results were announced earlier this year.
The OPC accepted 281 formal complaints under PIPEDA in 2011, a 35
percent increase from the previous year.
About the OPC
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 organizations engaged in 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
Image with caption: "Graphic novel helps youth navigate online privacy risks. (CNW Group/Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120605_C5971_PHOTO_EN_14640.jpg
SOURCE Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
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