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Privacy Commissioner awards $50,000 to the École nationale d'administration publique (ÉNAP) for research into the use of surveillance cameras

Ottawa, January 27, 2005 – The Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jennifer Stoddart, is pleased to announce that the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) is awarding $50,000, under its Contributions Program, to the École nationale d'administration publique (ÉNAP) to examine the perceptions, issues, privacy impact and best practices regarding the use of surveillance cameras in Canada.

"The presence of surveillance technologies has significantly increased in recent years. The Office is closely monitoring these technologies, especially video surveillance, to identify their impact on the privacy rights of Canadians," said Ms. Stoddart. "I am delighted to be involved in this partnership to gain additional information on the impact of this technology on Canadian society."

ÉNAP will be conducting a two-part study. The first part will examine a number of gaps in theoretical and practical knowledge in the field, notably concerning perceptions and the reasons why cameras are being used in Canada, and the impact of video surveillance on individuals and society. In phase two, the research will generate ideas and encourage key stakeholders to develop policies or directives on the implementation of video surveillance.

"Many Canadian cities are now using surveillance cameras," explained Ms. Stoddart. "We hope this project will identify and address the lack of knowledge of Canadians and municipal councils regarding the use of these surveillance systems on privacy rights."

"This research, funded under the Contributions Program of the OPC, focuses on the use of video surveillance in Canada, a growing phenomenon that must be examined because of the risks it may pose to privacy and its potential social repercussions," said Christian Boudreau, a professor at ÉNAP.

ÉNAP's research project is funded by the OPC's Contributions Program, launched in June 2004, to foster and develop Canada's national capacity for research into privacy issues and emerging technologies. The project is one of 10 research initiatives funded by the OPC.

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For more information, please contact:

Renée Couturier
Director, Public Education and Communications
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Tel: (613) 995-0103

Christian Boudreau, Ph.D.
Professor/Senior Researcher
École nationale d'administration publique
Tel: 418-641-3000 ext. 6741

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