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May 29, 2019

Privacy Commissioner announces funding for independent research projects on privacy issues

New projects being supported through the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s 2019-2020 Contributions Program will examine a variety of topics, such as parenting in the digital age, meaningful consent in the context of connected devices, and consent models for health innovators.

In addition to more conventional research and public education proposals, this year’s initiatives also include “design jams.” These collaborative brainstorming activities bring together experts from various backgrounds with the aim of generating solutions in a creative environment.

Independent research and knowledge translation projects receiving support as part of this year’s Contributions Program will also continue to advance the Office’s privacy priorities, which emphasize responding to Canadians’ concerns about privacy. The priorities, which help to guide the Office’s work, are: the economics of personal information; government surveillance; reputation and privacy; and the body as information.

Examples of this year’s projects include:

Young Canadians Speak Out: A Qualitative Research Project on Privacy and Consent. This project will give Canadian youth the chance to consider, discuss, and design ways of obtaining consent that are clear and meaningful to them, and to share their views directly with  representatives of the online platforms they use.

Design Jam on a Modernized Consent Model to Unlock Health Innovation. This design jam will explore innovative, technological ways to provide real-time meaningful consent in the health sector while protecting individual privacy.

Privacy Report Card for Parental Control Solutions. The aim of this project is to examine the security and privacy risks associated with parental control solutions that are commonly used by many Canadian parents to monitor and block content on various electronic devices.

The Contributions Program funds independent privacy research and initiatives that generate new ideas, approaches, and knowledge about privacy to help organizations to better safeguard personal information and Canadians to make more informed decisions about protecting their privacy.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada received 27 proposals for the 2019-20 funding cycle of the Contributions Program. Those proposals were evaluated by the Office, as well as by an external peer review panel. Following the evaluation process, 11 successful projects were selected to receive funding support.

For a full list of successful projects, see: Contributions Program projects underway.

The Contributions Program was created in 2004 to support arm’s length, non-profit research on privacy, further privacy policy development, and promote the protection of personal information in Canada. Since then, the Program has allocated approximately $6.5 million to nearly 150 initiatives.

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