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Contributions Program 2014-2015

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Project Descriptions

Organization: University of Toronto (Faculties of Law, Information, and Arts & Sciences)
Location: Ontario
Funding Amount: $49,780.50
Project Title: Assessing Privacy Risks of Extra-National Outsourcing of eCommunications
Project Leader: Heidi Bohaker
Project Description: The goal of this project is to create a web‐based suite of resources to assist Canadian organizations considering extra‐national outsourcing of electronic communications, such as email. Many Canadian companies and organizations have already outsourced electronic communications—or eCommunications—services to US corporations, while others are considering this option to both save money and enhance service. This project aims to assess the risks posed by outsourcing to large corporations abroad. The researchers will conduct a literature survey of key publications on the privacy implications of extra‐national outsourcing; analyse perspectives on the topic in industry, media and government communications; develop a framework for assessing the risks of extra‐national outsourcing; develop recommendations for policy makers and legislators; and host a public forum where stakeholders will be invited to share their perspectives.

Organization: British Columbia Freedom of Information and Privacy Association
Location: British Columbia
Funding Amount: $50,000.00
Project Title: The Connected Car: Who's in the Driver's Seat?
Project Leader: Philippa Lawson
Project Description: The use of telematics by vehicle manufacturers and insurers raises significant privacy concerns. This project will identify and address the privacy implications of automobile telematics, providing a basis for informed and constructive public debate and dialogue among interested parties. In addition to an in-depth research report, the project will host a multi-stakeholder forum at which the issues will be discussed and a dialogue established, with a view, ultimately, to ensuring that privacy is properly incorporated into the design and application of smart vehicle technology in Canada.

Organization: Consumers' Association of Canada
Location: Manitoba
Funding Amount: $49,500.00
Project Title: An Analysis of Online Payday Lenders' Privacy Policies
Project Leader: Gloria Desorcy
Project Description: The purpose of the project is to review the privacy policies of online Canadian payday lenders in order to determine how privacy practices align with PIPEDA, provincial legislation, and customer expectations/understandings. The researchers will survey at least 800 payday lending consumers, identifying their privacy expectations and understanding of online payday lending privacy policies. The researchers will also host meetings with a stakeholder committee comprised of online payday lending customer(s); online payday lender(s); provincial government representative(s); federal government representative(s); and organizations that represent vulnerable consumers, including online payday lending users.

Organization: University of Waterloo (School of Pharmacy)
Location: Ontario
Funding Amount: $49,993.90
Project Title: The Reliability of Security Options for Mobile Health Applications Designed for Use With Older Adults with Chronic Disease
Project Leader: Kelly Grindrod
Project Description: The goal of this project is to evaluate the current security solutions available for mobile health applications (mHealth apps) designed for consumers. The researchers will also provide recommendations for both consumers and mHealth developers on the best mechanisms to easily and reliably secure consumer-generated health data in a way that remains accessible for individuals with age-related or disease-related disabilities. The researchers hope the study findings will provide a model for secure consumer mHealth implementation across Canada and guide regulations for upholding consumer privacy standards for these applications. The ultimate beneficiaries of this research project will be Canadians who want to use mobile applications to manage or prevent disease.

Organization: McGill University (Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism)
Location: Quebec
Funding Amount: $50,000.00
Project Title: Mental Health Information Privacy
Project Leader(s): Derek Jones and Colleen Sheppard
Project Description: This project aims to identify leading issues and questions, best practices, and standards that can be used in the development of a guidance document for managing health information privacy in the federally regulated workplace. In doing so, the researchers will examine how to manage and understand privacy-equality disclosure issues. The researchers will also explore mental health information privacy from the perspective of whether it can be considered a fundamental right. The project will look at existing literature to determine if current Canadian human rights documents offer enabling guidance on mental health information privacy for the workplace. The project will result in an academic and policy literature review of key legal and policy developments, cases, academic articles, government reports and studies on the topic of mental health and human rights in the workplace.

Organization: McGill University (Centre of Genomics and Policy)
Location: Quebec
Funding Amount: $50,000.00
Project Title: Protecting Privacy in Cloud-Based Genomic Research
Project Leader: Yann Joly
Project Description: This project will identify the core elements, and develop a checklist, for an optimal privacy governance framework for the storage and sharing of genomic data in a cloud computing model. To shed light on this important subject, researchers will generate three key deliverables. First, the researchers will create a cloud computing privacy compendium, which will include key citations from the various legal documents identified, as well as critical comments drawn from legal and bioinformatics content analysis. Second, the researchers will develop a discussion document that will provide:  an overview of the privacy governance frameworks applicable to cloud computing; a comparison of the privacy policies and/or relevant agreements used in cloud service providers in Canada and in other jurisdictions (i.e. United States and European Union); and an overview of the relevant literature. Third, the researchers will produce a short policy brief, available in both English and French, on cloud computing.

Organization: York University (English Department)
Location: Ontario
Funding Amount: $50,000.00
Project Title: Data Mining the Deceased: Ancestry and the Business of Family
Project Leader: Julia Creet
Project Description:
The output of this project will be Data Mining the Deceased: Ancestry and the Business of Family, a one-hour, broadcast-quality, educational and entertainment essay documentary on the development of the world’s biggest genealogical databases and the possible pitfalls of the concentration and aggregation of genealogical data in relation to privacy. Shot in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Iceland, the documentary will feature interviews with expert and amateur genealogists, industry representatives and researchers to elucidate the privacy issues that arise with the aggregation of information with respect to government records, genealogical records, and bio-data. The documentary makes a strong argument that genealogical information has few international boundaries—in fact, the circulation of genealogical information is by definition global.

Organization: MediaSmarts
Location: Ontario
Funding Amount: $27,461.20
Project Title: Privacy Pirates: An App on Online Privacy
Project Leader: Jane Tallim
Project Description: Children are going online at increasingly younger ages and when they do, it is often to engage with various forms of sponsored content on commercial sites. In 2011, MediaSmarts launched Privacy Pirates: An Interactive Unit on Online Privacy, an educational game for children ages 7‐9. This game introduces children to the concept of online privacy and teaches them to distinguish between information that is appropriate to give out and information better kept private—and to recognize how choices may change in different contexts. The current project will develop an app version of the Privacy Pirates game, for both Android and iOS tablets and smartphones. Delivering this game as an app for mobile devices will enable it to reach a wider audience and, in particular, will allow MediaSmarts to bring it to the young children who need to learn good privacy habits in the environments where they spend most of their online time and where they face the most privacy risks.

Organization: Mozilla Foundation
Location: Ontario
Funding Amount: $50,000.00
Project Title: Co-Designing Open Badges for Privacy Education with Canadian Youth
Project Leader: Karen Louise Smith
Project Description: In the Co-Designing Open Badges for Privacy Education with Canadian Youth project, Mozilla Foundation, in collaboration with faculty from the University of Toronto and youth-serving organizations, will develop curriculum to empower youth to understand and manage their online privacy. The project simultaneously provides learning opportunities for youth ages 13-18, as well as youth-serving professionals, while enabling research on the optimal design and delivery models for education about privacy and other digital literacies. The Co-Designing Open Badges for Privacy Education with Canadian Youth project builds youth-centric and dynamic curriculum through participatory design workshops that engage young people directly. The curriculum embeds privacy education into the broader context of web literacy standards, a map of competencies for effectively reading, writing, and participating on the web. It also integrates privacy curriculum with Open Badges, an online infrastructure that enables individuals to demonstrate and communicate accomplishments, skills, competencies, or interests.

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