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    Canadian Privacy Commissioner launches public consultations on emerging technologies

    Canadian Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart has announced a new public consultation “on the privacy implications of the online collection of personal information by commercial entities for the purpose of tracking, profiling and targeting individuals in both the home computing and mobile device environments.” To participate, visit  http://www.priv.gc.ca/resource/consultations/notice-avis_e.cfm. Deadline is March 15.

    The aim of this consumer consultation is to learn more about such industry practices, explore their privacy implications, and find out what privacy protections Canadians expect with respect to these practices. The consultation is also intended to promote debate about the impact of these technological developments on privacy, and to inform the next review process for the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

    The consultation will begin with an open period for the submission of comments or papers by interested parties. The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2010. This will be followed by focused panel discussions in Toronto in April and Montreal in May. The Office welcomes applications for panel participation from a broad range of participants. Some audience seating will be available, and the events will also be webcast.

    A second consultation on privacy issues emerging from the trend toward cloud computing will be announced shortly.

    In advance of the panel discussions, we welcome written submissions of a maximum of 15 pages on the privacy implications of online tracking, profiling and targeting. We are especially interested in the following issues:

    THE DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT

    Current industry practices and business models:

    • Marketing industry
    • Game platform designers
    • Mobile communication service providers
    • Social network sites
    • Medical and health care tools

    Some current technologies:

    • Cookies
    • Wireless networks
    • Global positioning systems (GPS)
    • Deep packet inspection (DPI) systems

    SOCIAL FACTORS Consumer awareness:

    • Value of personal information
    • Data collection methods
    • Disclosure and sharing of personal information
    • Other uses of personal data

    Citizens’ attitudes:

    • Reasonable expectations of privacy
    • Different levels of sensitivity (e.g. financial profiling, political views, religious beliefs, medical history, information on children)

    Individual practices:

    • Benefits consumers expect from data profiling
    • Risks consumers take with their personal information

    PRINCIPLES FOR INFORMATION GOVERNANCE

    • Accountability (obtaining consent, individual access, accuracy, correction, redress)
    • Transparency (public notice, privacy policies, corporate compliance)
    • Consent (opt-in, opt-out, express, implied)
    • Security (encryption, de-personalization, anonymity)
    • Oversight (review, audits, impact assessments)
    • Safeguards (retention, disposal, destruction)

    To participate, visit  http://www.priv.gc.ca/resource/consultations/notice-avis_e.cfm.

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