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News Release

Privacy Commissioner launches ‘House Rules,’ an online privacy tool for families

2016 Data Privacy Day an opportunity for all Canadians to take a more active role in protecting personal information

GATINEAU, QC, January 27, 2016 — What better time to take stock of your family’s personal information protection and privacy practices than Data Privacy Day.

To mark the occasion, which kicks off tomorrow in many countries, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has launched “House Rules”—a new interactive tool for families aimed at helping parents manage the online risks facing their children.

“We want families to consider their online behaviour and how personal information may be collected, used and disclosed so that children will learn to think twice before sharing any sensitive details,” Commissioner Daniel Therrien says.

“Having a privacy plan setting out the family dos and don’ts can help everyone work together to protect privacy.”

Parents are invited to use the tool to assess how their children interact online through games, mobile applications and social networking sites as a means of starting a dialogue on safe and responsible surfing. The tool offers simple tips parents and children can customize into their very own “House Rules” that can be printed off and posted in a common area as a reminder of how to protect privacy online.

Here are some examples:

  • We will think about the footprint we leave online with our comments, pictures and videos, and control what others see about us to leave a good impression. We will ask ourselves:  What would grandma, grandpa or a favourite teacher think if he or she saw this?
  • We will make our passwords hard to guess and we will not share our passwords. It is important to know that some people do go into other people’s accounts and try to cause trouble.
  • We will work with an adult we trust to learn how to post things online, and only post things that we are okay with anybody seeing.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is also unveiling a new tip sheet for individuals to help all Canadians become more familiar with the basics of privacy protection.

“There are many things you can do: Think twice before handing over your information and ask questions about how it’s going to be used. Protect your mobile device with a strong password. Adjust the privacy settings on your social media accounts,” says Commissioner Therrien. 

“I would encourage all Canadians to take a moment this Data Privacy Day to think about what they can do to better protect their privacy.”

About the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of 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 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), Canada’s federal private sector privacy law.

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See also:

Interactive Tool: House Rules for Online Privacy
10 Tips for Protecting Personal Information
Resources for all Canadians  
Data Privacy Day

For more information, please contact:

Tobi Cohen, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

NOTE: To help us to respond more quickly, journalists are asked to please send requests for interviews or further information via e-mail.

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