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Your information. Your choice.

Increasingly, we are putting our personal information online in order to gain access to the benefits of Web 2.0: We list and rank our favourite books on vendor sites, and in return we get recommendations for books we might never have heard of otherwise. We indicate which high school we attended on our Facebook profiles, and in return we reconnect with long-lost friends.

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A new year’s errand list

As we close out 2007, we’d like to sound a note of caution for privacy rights in Canada. We are lucky to have a variety of protections for personal information and data at the territorial, provincial and federal levels. Nevertheless, the Commissioner took a moment last week to highlight some of the steps that need to be taken by individuals, corporations and the government in the face of continuing challenges:

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Assessing commercial activity on children’s favourite websites

In Britain, the National Consumer Council and Childnet have released the results of an extensive series of surveys and interviews with children, youth and their parents. Their work sheds some light into these groups’ activities online, including participation on youth-oriented websites, how they react to advertising aimed at children and youth, and their attitudes towards privacy.

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