Monday, January 18, 2010

Canada's Privacy Commissioner Launching Public Consultations Aimed at Understanding Online Tracking, Profiling and Targeting

A quick post today to relay an announcement from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada Jennifer Stoddart, on a series of public consultations that her Office is hosting on issues of online tracking, data mining, data profiling and the targeting of consumers by businesses. A great opportunity to share some of the emerging info on kids' online games and websites, as well as data mining and tracking in general. Here's the description from the department website:
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is hosting consultations with Canadians on issues that we feel pose a serious challenge to the privacy of consumers, now and in the near future.

The topics to be explored include the online tracking, profiling and targeting of consumers by businesses, and the growing trend towards cloud computing.

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 centerpiece of the consultations will be a series of single-day panel discussions involving a range of participants, including representatives of industry, government, consumer associations and civil society. In order to canvass the broadest possible range of views in preparation for these events, we are also welcoming written submissions.

For more info, you can check out:
Today's news release;
The Call for Submissions;
and, in the interests of preserving people's privacy while they participate in the consultations, a Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessment Analysis of the consultation process. Note that they've assessed that the consultations will have an "overall low impact on privacy" - Cute ;)

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