Ontario's Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, releases new tool to help protect privacy and manage online identity among multiple players

    TORONTO, Feb. 2 /CNW/ - Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner,
Dr. Ann Cavoukian, is releasing a new assessment tool tomorrow, intended for
use by companies that will be sharing their online identity management
systems. Calling it the "Federated Privacy Impact Assessment" or F-PIA, it
will serve to ensure end-to-end privacy across all members of an association
or federation.
    "Whether you're dealing with data in motion or data at rest," said
Commissioner Cavoukian, "privacy assurances must be given by every member of
the federation to ensure consumer confidence."
    In a federated identity system, a consumer's online identity information
supplied by a particular service or company can be recognized by a wide range
of other service providers. In this scenario, a consumer would only need to
register with one trusted "identity provider" or organization in the
federation. When dealing with other members of the federation, their identity
provider could securely share - on a need-to-know basis and with the knowledge
of the consumer - the information which the second, third and subsequent
companies need to complete a transaction, without the consumer having to
register and maintain full user accounts with every company they dealt with.
    The white paper, entitled, The New Federated Privacy Impact Assessment
(F-PIA): Building Privacy and Trust-enabled Federation, builds on the IPC's
earlier work on privacy and identity management, including the 7 Laws of
Identity: The Case for Privacy-Embedded Laws of Identity in the Digital Age,
and Privacy in the Clouds. Written in collaboration with Joseph Alhadeff,
Chief Privacy Officer of Oracle and one of the leading privacy experts of the
Liberty Alliance Project, it represents a new direction. Formed in 2001, the
Liberty Alliance is a group of 150 global technology vendors, consumer product
and service companies, educational organizations and governments working to
establish open standards, guidelines and best practices for federated identity
    Commissioner Cavoukian fully appreciates the convenience that this type
of arrangement can provide to consumers. "Limiting the amount of personal
information you provide in a federated identity management system is a
significant best practice with regards to privacy. Companies that are part of
the federation cannot rely on a PIA that they may have produced for their
business alone. I am urging them to conduct an F-PIA or Federated-PIA." Joseph
Alhadeff further adds, "After reading the guidance in this white paper, the
next logical step for a federation would be the development of a formal F-PIA.
Organizations and federations should use it, along with numerous other PIAs
and development tools currently in existence, to create measurable standards
against which privacy and trust can be evaluated and implemented."
    This paper builds on the Commissioner's concept of Privacy by Design - a
term that Commissioner Cavoukian developed in the `90s when she first began
her campaign to enlist the support of technology to protect privacy, instead
of encroaching upon it. Last week, the Commissioner sponsored a major
conference entitled the Privacy by Design Challenge, which focused on the
emergence and growth of privacy-enhancing technologies, commonly referred to
as PETs, in a positive-sum (not zero-sum) manner, which the Commissioner
believes will pave the way for ensuring the future of privacy. (For more
information, please visit, www.privacybydesign.ca.)
    Commissioner Cavoukian will be releasing her F-PIA white paper tomorrow
at the 10th Annual Reboot Privacy and Security Conference in Victoria, B.C.,
where she will be delivering a keynote address on February 3rd. The white
paper can also be downloaded, free of charge, at www.ipc.on.ca, on February 3.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Bob Spence, Communications
Co-ordinator, Direct line: (416) 326-3939, Cell phone: (416) 873-9746, Toll
free: 1-800-387-0073, bob.spence@ipc.on.ca

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