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Privacy Commissioner's Office launches fourth annual privacy research program
Ottawa, January 12, 2007 –The Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jennifer Stoddart, announced today the renewal of funding for privacy research through her Office's 2007-2008 Contributions Program.
"It is with great enthusiasm that I announce the launch of this program early in 2007, so that privacy experts and researchers can contribute to enriching the program of the 29th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, which I am proud to be hosting in September 2007, in Montreal. The event is an excellent opportunity to showcase the wealth of knowledge and expertise we have here in Canada in the field of privacy protection. The conference will also help crystallize Canada’s leadership in this area."
Officially launched in June 2004 to further the development of a national research capacity in Canada, the Contributions Program was set up to catalyze independent research in Canada in areas that have been identified as priorities by the Office. According to a leading privacy expert, Professor Michael Geist, "the OPC’s privacy research program has been applauded by the research community and privacy experts as vital to galvanizing action on the broad spectrum of issues that have an impact on privacy".
Professor Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce law. He is also a nationally syndicated columnist on technology law issues and the author of the Canadian Privacy Law Review.
This year, the Program will have three separate streams for which the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) is encouraging the submission of separate proposals:
In line with its plans and priorities for 2007-08, the OPC is interested in funding research in three core areas:
- The protection of personal information on the Internet;
- The challenges inherent in secure identification or authentication of individuals and entities; and
- The intersection of the public and private sectors with regard to use and protection of personal information.
While the OPC is particularly interested in funding research in the above-noted areas, it should be noted that it will also consider requests to fund research on issues that fall outside of these.
One of the goals of the Contributions Program is to promote the awareness of different privacy research activities in Canada, with a view to reinforcing a broader public education agenda. In order to promote this goal, the OPC has allocated part of this year’s funding to the organization of a workshop to engage many of the researchers who have been funded under the Program in previous years.
This year, the Office is hosting the 29th International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners Conference. At many past conferences, the dialogue has been greatly enriched by the presence of civil society representatives, from human rights workers to privacy advocates, civil liberties organizations to consumer representatives. These groups, however, are chronically under-funded. The OPC has therefore set aside funds under this year’s Program to assist these groups in organizing a workshop one day before the international conference.
Projects must be completed within the fiscal year in which the funding was provided. The deadline to submit applications for streams 1 and 2 is February 19, 2007. The deadline for proposals stream 3 is January 29, 2007.
Links to the projects completed under the previous Contributions Programs are available on the OPC Web site.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is mandated by Parliament to act as an ombudsman, advocate and guardian of the privacy and protection of personal information rights of Canadians.
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For more information, please contact:
Florence M.C. Nguyen
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
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