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Young Canadians speak out: A qualitative research project on privacy and consent





Project Leader(s)

Julie Ladouceur


The researchers conducted a qualitative research project that gave youth the chance to consider, discuss and design ways of obtaining consent online that are clear and meaningful to them.

A literature review was completed to identify what was currently known about how youth understand and view data collection and consent, the essential features of mechanisms for obtaining meaningful consent, and current known best practices for obtaining meaningful consent (both generally and specifically with regard to youth). The results of the literature review were used to produce a “primer” video for participants, which provided them with essential knowledge about the meaning of consent in a data collection context, the economics of personal information online, an overview of the existing mechanisms of obtaining consent online, and their rights to privacy under federal legislation.

Three focus groups were conducted with 22 youth ages 13 to 16 in Ottawa. As part of the focus groups, youth were asked to share their thoughts on and experiences with current online consent processes. They were then asked to come up with hand-drawn “paper prototypes” of their ideal privacy policies.

The key findings from the focus groups are highlighted in the final report, “Young Canadians Speak Out: A Qualitative Research Project on Privacy and Consent.” The findings offered creative new ideas on how platforms can improve online consent processes – not just for young people, but also for everyone – so Canadians can better understand what they are agreeing to when it comes to their privacy.

Project deliverables are available in the following language(s):

Full Report:

Recommendations for Platforms: Youth, Privacy and Consent:

Blog article:

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

Kathryn Ann Hill
205 Catherine Street, Suite 100
Ottawa, ON K2P 1C3

613-224-7721 ext. 224

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