Privacy Commissioner unveils new tools to help young Internet users protect their privacy
New video, tip sheet, and youth presentation package will help teachers and parents talk to youth about the importance of protecting their privacy online
Ottawa, January 24, 2012 — The Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jennifer Stoddart, today launched a series of new tools to help teachers and parents communicate with young people about the privacy risks associated with online activities and help them better protect their information online.
Canada's Privacy Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, gets a student's perspective on privacy during a presentation at Hopewell Avenue Public School in Ottawa, where she unveiled three new tools to help young Internet users protect their privacy.
The new tools, which include a video, a tip sheet for parents, and a youth presentation package for youth in Grades 7 and 8 (Secondary I and II in Quebec) were unveiled by the Privacy Commissioner in a presentation to grade seven and eight students at a middle school in downtown Ottawa.
“Canadian kids use the Internet and online tools effortlessly, at a very young age, and many kids are way ahead of adults in adapting to new technology,” says Commissioner Stoddart. “Unfortunately, while they are incredibly adept when it comes to surfing, texting, posting, and chatting online, they don’t always take time to consider the privacy pitfalls these new technologies pose.”
“We need to start talking to them about online privacy at an early age and encourage them to think carefully about the personal information they are sharing online,” explains Commissioner Stoddart.
The new video speaks to teens directly and covers the key privacy concepts kids need to consider when sharing information online. The video can be viewed online or downloaded for discussing privacy issues with kids.
The new tip sheet for parents offers 12 practical tips for parents who want to talk to their kids about privacy in the online world. The tips include some simple ideas and advice that parents can use to help limit the risks to their children’s personal information, while still allowing them to benefit from and enjoy their time online.
The Grades 7 and 8 presentation package is the latest release in the Office’s Protecting Your Online Rep presentation series. The package includes slides, speaking notes and discussion topics that can be used by educators and community leaders to speak to young people about online privacy. The new presentation offers much of the practical privacy advice found in the first presentation package, which was designed for Grades 9 to 12 and launched last fall, but the graphics and speaking notes have been tailored to the social realities and online activities of younger students.
“While our kids may be growing up in an age of digital interaction, they still value their online reputations and they want to protect them. The problem is, many just don’t know how,” explains Commissioner Stoddart. “The new tools launched by our Office offer the practical advice that parents, teachers and students can all use to help build a secure online identity and keep their personal information safe.”
Today’s announcement was made as part of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s week-long campaign leading up to Data Privacy Day. Data Privacy Day, which is marked annually on January 28, was established to raise awareness about the impact that technology is having on privacy rights and to promote the protection of personal information. For more information on the Office’s Data Privacy Day activities and resources, go to www.priv.gc.ca.
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.
The new youth privacy presentation, video and tip sheet for parents can be found on the Office’s youth website: http://www.youthprivacy.ca.
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Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
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