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Privacy and the 2010 Olympics

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In February and March 2010, Canada hosted the world at the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. As the first international “mega-event” in Canada in the post-9/11 era, the Vancouver Winter Games posed unprecedented security challenges.

But while keeping athletes, visitors, staff and volunteers safe was of paramount importance, it was crucial that security officials uphold another core Canadian value: Respect for the privacy of individuals and the integrity of their personal information – before, during and after the Games.

For more than a year leading up to the Games, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, in conjunction with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia, was in communication with the Integrated Security Unit responsible for Olympic security, to ensure that surveillance and other security measures would not unduly infringe on the rights of participants, workers, visitors or nearby residents.

This website explores the preservation of privacy in the context of Olympic security, and provides links to further information.

Fact Sheet

News Releases

  • Privacy protection must be part of Vancouver Olympic Games planning, say federal and B.C. Privacy Commissioners – Joint news release from Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia.
    February 2, 2009

Speeches and Statements

  • A group of researchers who participated in the Surveillance Games Research Workshop November 20-21 in Vancouver, B.C. have drafted a joint statement on security, surveillance and mega-events signed by international experts specializing in these areas
    November 23, 2009
  • Remarks by Jennifer Stoddart, Privacy Commissioner of Canada, at the “Privacy, Security and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games” workshop, Victoria, British Columbia
    February 2, 2009
  • Privacy, Security and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, speaking points by Chantal Bernier, Assistant Privacy Commissioner of Canada at the 2009 Reboot Conference
    February 4, 2009




  • The Surveillance Games: A Research Workshop, an event organized by The New Transparency Project (in association with the Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology, Simon Fraser University), at the Harbour Centre, Vancouver, B.C., November 20-21, 2009

Other links

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