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IXmaps: Mapping Canadian Privacy Risks in the Internet Cloud

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Information Policy Research Program, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto



Project Leader(s)

Professor Andrew Clement


The key objectives of this research and public education project were:

  1. To increase public understanding of how the Internet core works in terms of data routing and storage, the roles and responsibilities of the typically hidden Internet organizations around these activities, and how this affects individual control of personal information;
  2. To assess the privacy implications of such Internet cloud operations, how they may be addressed in terms of policy development, privacy regulation, public engagement and personal data protection;
  3. To develop an integrated collection of visually compelling, interactively engaging and pedagogically accessible public education materials on this subject of Internet infrastructure, cloud networking and privacy.

An additional objective is to contribute to the Surveillance in Canada (SiC) report that will be prepared by the New Transparency (NewT) project funded by SSHRC. The SiC report is intended to be a detailed and definitive “audit” or “snapshot” of the many facets of surveillance in Canada. It will be published and widely disseminated in 2014.

In pursuit of these objectives, the project team conducted a number of activities, including: 

  • Developing the current as a consumer-oriented, privacy-focused website showing the routing and storage of personal data in the North American Internet “cloud” and promoting it to Canadians;
  • Refining and disseminating an easy to install end-user program (TRgen) to enable people to do their own exploration of Internet routing and associated privacy implications;
  • Expanding the IXmaps databases, incorporating more Canadian routing and privacy relevant material;
  • Convening a policy workshop—“Privacy in the Cloud?”—bringing together privacy officials, technology and policy experts, and citizen advocates, to discuss the project findings and how they can be disseminated.
The IXmaps project encourages feedback from visitors and welcomes helpful suggestions for further refinement. Comments or suggestions may be submitted to

This document is available in the following language(s):

English only

OPC Funded Project

This project received funding support through the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Contributions Program. The opinions expressed in the summary and report(s) are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Summaries have been provided by the project authors. Please note that the projects appear in their language of origin.

Contact Information

For inquiries regarding the IXmaps project, its research, or its researchers:

For technical inquiries regarding software, the IXmaps database, or the IXmaps website:

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