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Canada’s Privacy Commissioner awards $350,000 to eight new projects to advance privacy research and outreach

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OTTAWA, June 23, 2011 — Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart today announced the recipients of her Office’s 2011-2012 Contributions Program, which will provide $350,000 this year for a variety of privacy research and public education initiatives.

Recipients of this year’s Contributions Program are advancing privacy research and outreach in a number of areas of interest to Canadians and others around the world. Funded projects include:

  • The creation of a cross-media game that will use physical and digital spaces to teach Canadian children about privacy;
  • The creation of an interactive and educational package about protecting personal information that can be used by teachers;
  • Privacy education through workshops for the ethno-cultural Francophone community in Toronto;
  • The development of videos presenting Canada’s federal private sector privacy law in sign language to assist deaf Canadians in understanding their privacy rights; and
  • A study of how private security firms operate re-deployable surveillance camera systems, focusing on the interaction between private sector data gatherers and law enforcement authorities.  

“The Contributions Program is a great way for our Office to advance privacy knowledge and thinking across Canada,” says Commissioner Stoddart. “Funding privacy research and outreach generates new ideas, approaches, and information, which Canadians can use to make smart decisions about protecting their personal information.”

This year’s projects involve research initiatives that focus on the Office’s four key privacy priority areas: public safety, identity integrity and protection, information technology, and genetic privacy. A number of the projects also focus on a key demographic for the Office: youth.

“Young people in particular are often early adopters of new technology,” notes Commissioner Stoddart. “I am very pleased to see some innovative new projects that will focus on Canadian youth, and engage them in the privacy debate in a meaningful and exciting way.”

This year, the OPC will make available $350,000 to fund eight research and public education initiatives. A full list of the successful recipients and their projects from 2011-2012 is available on our web site.

The OPC received 46 funding proposals for the 2011-2012 Contributions Program. Each proposal was weighed on its merit and recipients were selected after a rigorous screening process. These projects are expected to be completed in 2012.

Created in 2004 to support non-profit research on privacy, further privacy policy development, and promote the protection of personal information in Canada, the Contributions Program is considered one of the foremost privacy research funding programs in the world. To date, the program has allocated over $2.5 million to more than 70 initiatives in Canada.

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada is mandated by Parliament to act as an ombudsman and guardian of privacy in Canada. The Commissioner enforces two federal laws for the protection of personal information: the Privacy Act, which applies to the federal public sector; and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which applies to commercial activities in the Atlantic provinces, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Territories.  Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia each has its own law covering the private sector.  Even in these provinces, PIPEDA continues to apply to the federally regulated private sector and to personal information in interprovincial and international transactions.

For more information (media only), contact:

Heather Ormerod
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Tel: (613) 947-8416

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