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Tracking recent research in biometrics

One research area that the OPC tracks is biometrics – using physical features and behaviours to automatically identify people. Although biometric technologies can be very useful for establishing identities, they can also raise important privacy concerns. Biometric technology is constantly changing and the ability of systems to accurately recognize people is increasing. OPC staff recently attended the International Conference on Biometrics: Theory, Applications and Systems (BTAS) held in Washington D.C. where they heard about the latest research results.

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"People don't care about privacy until it bites them."

Understanding how we construct and manage our online reputations is crucial in our understanding of how people determine what to make public and what to keep private in online environments. The interview below, with Firefox's Creative Director Aza Raskin, has some interesting observations on what the construction of identity and memories could look like in the future. Also, around 4:35, he talks about the work Mozilla has been doing to create a set of privacy icons in the style of Creative Commons licences to help people understand how their data is being collected and used.

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Think before you spit

The decision whether to undergo genetic testing is often highly personal and is usually prompted by a serious medical concern such as a family history of an inherited disease. Traditionally, such testing has been done in a medical setting by health care professionals, including genetic counsellors, who explain the science and ethics behind testing and help patients interpret the results.

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Twittering in Calgary

On June 21, 2010, The Office of the Privacy Commissioner hosted its third Consumer Privacy Consultation event of the year. Located in Calgary, this consultation event focused primarily on the privacy implications of cloud computing.  Featuring a wide variety of industry experts and engaging panelists, the event was highly successful.

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