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Privacy Commissioner of Canada awards $388,319 for research on privacy issues

Ottawa, July 14, 2006 – The Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jennifer Stoddart, today announced that 11 organizations will be awarded a total of $388,319 through her Office’s Contributions Program for research into emerging privacy issues, including surveillance technologies, privacy policies aimed at children and the use of DNA in the criminal justice system.

“The rapid advancements of technology and greater demands for personal information make it imperative for Canadians to be provided with sound analysis of privacy challenges and issues,” says Ms. Stoddart. “The research carried out through our Contributions Program is helping to create a stronger privacy knowledge base and to foster public dialogue.”

This is the third year that the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) has run its Contributions Program since its launch in mid-2004. The Program was designed to support non-profit research that furthers the development of a national research capacity in Canada in the broad spectrum of issues impacting privacy. Research under this year’s Program will touch on a variety of other interesting topics, including the certification of privacy professionals, digital rights management technology, health privacy and the de-identification of personal information. This is the largest amount of funding that has been awarded to researchers in the Program’s history and twice as many institutions are being funded in comparison with last year.

Funded Projects




Canadian Association for Professional Access and Privacy Administrators  and the Canadian Access and Privacy Association
Edmonton, AB and Ottawa, ON

Professional Certifications Standards Project

Research and establish standards for certification of privacy and information access professionals


Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic
Ottawa, ON

Digital Rights Management Technologies and Consumer Privacy: A Canadian Market Survey and Privacy Impact Assessment

Research use of Digital Rights Management technology in Canada and assess privacy implications.

$50, 000

University of Toronto
Toronto, ON

Visions for Canada: Identity Policy Projections and Policy Alternatives

Examine the various aspects of identity policy in Canada


University of Western Ontario
London, ON

Strategies for Drafting Privacy Policies Kids Can Understand

Research effectiveness of privacy policies aimed at children


Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
Ottawa, ON

The Development of Pan-Canadian De-Identification Guidelines for Personal Health Information

Explore the challenges of de-identifying personal health information


Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John’s, NFLD

Technology Choices and Privacy Policy in Health Care

Examine the relationship between technology and policy choices


Automobile Consumer Coalition
Toronto, ON


Vehicle Technology and Consumer Privacy

Explore privacy implications of various surveillance technologies in vehicles


Centre for Bioethics, Clinical Research Institute of Montreal
Montreal, QC

The Secondary Uses of Health Information and Electronic Medical Records: Current Debates, Policies, Initiatives and Legislation in Canada and Abroad.

Create an inventory of the challenges to privacy posed by electronic health records and databases that contain them


L’Union des consommateurs
Montréal, QC

Do Consumers Benefit From the Trading of Personal Information?

Implications  to Canadians of the personal information trade and analytical study of the effectiveness of Canadian laws in adequately protecting consumers


University of Ottawa
Ottawa, ON

Privacy Within the Criminal Justice System: DNA Investigation

Examine the use and handling of DNA collected during the course of investigations


Ryerson University
Toronto, ON

Under the Radar? The Employer Perspective on Workplace Privacy

Disseminate results of report on workplace privacy, sponsored by last year’s Contributions Program


“There is a great deal of untapped Canadian expertise with respect to privacy rights. The OPC’s Contributions Program provides stimulation for ideas to thrive, and new knowledge to be generated,” says Professor Michael Geist of the University of Ottawa and Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce law. Professor Geist is also a member of the OPC’s External Advisory Committee.

The Contributions Program has awarded more than $900,000 since its inception. Each proposal is weighed for its merit and contribution recipients are selected after a rigorous screening process. These projects are expected to be completed in 2007. Links to the reports are made available on the OPC’s Web site and may also be profiled at the 2007 International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners Conference, which is taking place in Montreal in September 2007.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is mandated by Parliament to act as an ombudsman, advocate and guardian of privacy rights of Canada.

View our Backgrounder.

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For more information and/or media interview requests, please contact:

Valerie Georgewill
Media Relations
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Tel: (613) 992-3745

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