Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Speaking Engagement: 2010 Consumer Privacy Consultations

As I discussed previously, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is holding a series of public consultations this spring, exploring emerging issues around online tracking, profiling and targeting of consumers. The consultations arrive in Toronto this Thursday (April 29), for a full day of discussion about issues relating to advertising, location-based/geospatial tracking and children's online privacy. What I may have neglected to mention is that I will be part of the afternoon panel on Children's Online Privacy, along with the very awesome Matthew Johnson, Media Education Specialist at the Media Awareness Network, kids' privacy researcher Dr. Jacquelyn Burkell (Associate Professor with the Faculty of Information and Media Studies, at the University of Western Ontario), and Catherine Connors, "mommy blogger" and author of www.HerBadMother.com. I believe there will also be an industry rep, though I'm not completely sure who as of yet.

The event is open to the public, but has reached capacity (!). Fortunately, the entire thing will be webcast through the Office of the Privacy Commissioner website. Should be a very interesting day, and I encourage you all to check out the webcast and subsequent coverage, as well as the advertising industry's preliminary response to the idea of broadening privacy protection in Canada (for e.g.) (btw - if you've guessed that they're largely against it, you're right!). Particular issues that I hope to raise/address include the conflation of marketing research and consumer data collection, and the growing importance/depth of corporate use of non-personally identifiable information -- particularly in examples such as Habbo Hotel's Habble and Echometrix's PULSE services.

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