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Privacy and network education

Last month, our Office was invited to participate in a youth privacy conference hosted by the American Library Association (ALA). The ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom has been focused on the issue of libraries and privacy awareness for the last three years, thanks to a grant from the Open Society Institute.  They plan to focus their efforts in 2011 on developing strategies for how best to deliver the privacy message to young people and see libraries as ideal places for youth to learn about privacy. They brought together privacy advocates, policy experts, librarians, educators, and our Office to pick our brains on how to best achieve this.

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OPC Hosts International Group - Monitoring Risks and Highlighting Opportunities

Our Office is pleased to be hosting the 49th meeting of the “Berlin Group”, more formally known as the International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications, which takes place today and tomorrow, in Montreal. This is the first time that this Group has met in Canada. Participants in the meeting, representing more than 20 international data protection and privacy authorities, will be focusing on privacy-related topics such as electronic payments, vehicle event data recorders and locational privacy.

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To err is human: some thoughts about online privacy

Last month, we held our second Insights on Privacy armchair event, with Alessandro Acquisti and Christena Nippert-Eng as our guests. Much of the discussion revolved around the challenges of negotiating privacy in an online environment, and we heard many interesting observations about how human nature gets in the way of good online privacy decisions. Dr. Acquisti’s research shows that the more in control people feel over their personal information, the more sensitive information they tend to disclose. Granular controls in privacy settings give people a sense of power over their information that may be more illusion than reality. When deciding how much information to reveal, people also become confused in online environments because they cannot rely on the physical cues that guide them in their off-line interactions. Without physically seeing our audience, it’s easy to misjudge or disregard those who can see us.

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