Public health and Google Trends

Huddled under a blanket in the quiet of your computer room, aching from head to toe, you decide do a quick Google search for flu remedies or maybe read more on the where the next flu clinic will be held. Congratulations – with Google’s help, you’ve just volunteered for the public health early warning system.

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What’s in store for a new session of Parliament, Part 2

With another federal election underway, a number of policy issues with privacy implications have been put on hold until after October 14. The debate over copyright was one of the most contentious issues before the House and certainly one that captured the interest of Canadians throughout the country. Before the election call, we received a letter from James Pew, a music studio owner in Toronto. He voices his concerns as a small business owner over the proposed copyright legislation, pointing out that it “does not take into account the needs of consumers and Canada’s creative community who are exploiting the potential of digital technology”. (You can view his full letter on his blog.)

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What’s your comfort level online?

A recent UK study on social networks found that many users aren’t that concerned about posting personal information online because the whole point of social network sites is to share details about yourself so you can link up with other people and communicate. This point of view is not surprising because it’s human nature to focus on the benefits and not think through all the possible consequences. Also, people’s comfort level online is directly related to assumptions they make about risk.

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