Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

28 Jan 2010

It’s Data Privacy Day 2010: Are you taking the proper steps to ensure that your personal information is safe?

On Data Privacy 2010 we’d like to take a moment to remind everyone that is the responsibility of both individuals and companies to make sure that personal information is safe.

If you own a company, or work for a big one: in the past, you may have had to ensure that your customers’ name and address information (and in some cases credit card and billing information) were safe. Now, many of you are providing technology and tools for your customers to put increasing amounts of personal information online. Does your company have the systems in place to safeguard this information? Do you give your customers the tools and options to control how their information is used?

If you are a user of new and cool technology: in the past a telephone was a telephone, a video game was a video game, a stuffed toy was simply that – a stuffed toy. Today, more and more toys and handheld tools come with the ability to go online. Do you understand how to enjoy your toys and gadgets without putting your personal information at risk?

If you are a parent or guardian, teacher, coach or caregiver: do the young people in your life understand how to use all these new toys and gadgets while keeping their personal information safe? Our office has recently made youth privacy a key priority. Today, we have posted some new resources to the Parents & Teachers section of our youth web site. The resources include information on 12 privacy issues (such as the importance of privacy settings and knowing who your friends are on social networking sites), along with ideas for generating discussion about each issue with young people. You can use these resources to start discussion about personal privacy and the importance of thinking about what you post on the Internet.

Regardless of which group you are in – if you need any information about how to keep personal information secure, visit our web sites – and

20 Nov 2009

Today is National Child Day

It’s also the 20th anniversary of the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention of the Rights of the Child. A significant milestone, this made privacy a basic human right for everyone under the age of eighteen.

Privacy is a right that all young people should enjoy, no matter where they live. With today’s world being so different than it was 20 years ago, this is something they may not think much about. Today, young people are videotaped by security cameras almost everywhere they go. They are asked for their postal code or driver’s license number when they buy a pair of jeans. They can instant message, update their statuses, download music, talk to friends on Facebook and play games on their computers with people all around the world. Twenty years ago, if someone wanted to get in touch with you they had to phone you or send you a postcard!

It is so easy for young people to overlook their privacy rights and why they’re so important. And it’s easy to forget about the risks that are out there if they don’t protect their personal information. These risks can range from nuisance (all those marketers who are looking for people to target their ads to) to serious (from the people on the Internet who are looking for identities to steal, to the predators who are looking for victims). Many of them also tend to forget that when they post comments, photos and videos, online, that information is public and permanent and almost impossible to remove.

So today, on National Child Day, take a minute and remind the young people in your life, in your community, that privacy is their right. Have them look around and click through the pages. Encourage them to find information about how they can have fun online while protecting this valuable basic human right.

5 Nov 2009

Lavapies – one neighbourhood battles surveillance

I had the chance earlier this week to attend The Public Voice, a conference in Madrid to help civil society groups share their work and their points of view on important privacy issues.


One presentation highlighted un barrio feliz – a community led project to protest and undermine the closed circuit surveillance cameras slowly rolling out across Madrid’s neighbourhoods.

This particular effort is a response to the 48 cameras that are being installed in Lavapies, a downtown neighbourhood sometimes criticised for its low-rent atmosphere and late night escort business.

The presenter, David, made a point of noting that the Madrid municipal government has presented different excuses for the cameras, based on individual neighbourhoods.

Around the Puerta del Sol, a popular tourist area, the cameras were installed to deter pickpockets. In Lavapies, the cameras are apparently needed to deter the escorts.

This summer, a local campaign was pulled together to protest the closed circuit surveillance. As part of the campaign, artists and activists designed 37 posters and images that criticise the initiative.

While there are many familiar themes among the images (which, in itself, is a depressing statement for a privacy advocate), there are two that play off the colours and graphics used to support Madrid’s recent 2016 Olympic bid. Here is one (the other is a little rude):

lavapies grabado

These images remind us of similar measures being put in place to ensure security during Vancouver’s 2010 Winter Games – measures we have followed with interest.

The rest of the images can be found on a common flickr page, and they’re all CC Attribution 2.0 Generic.

2 Nov 2009

This week is Media Literacy Week

Is there a young person in your life who is fixated on social network and video-sharing sites, online games and gadgets such as iPods and mobile phones? If so, you may want to take notice of the Media Literacy Week, which is taking place this week, from November 2 to 6, 2009.

This year’s theme is Media Literacy in the Digital Age, emphasizing the multiple levels of literacy that young people today need to access, evaluate, repurpose, create and distribute media content if they are to successfully navigate their digital media world.

Young people face many new challenges in this environment, but they also need to know how to protect their privacy while they are online and how to stay safe when using social networks.

This week, take a moment to familiarize yourself with all the great tools that are out there for you to share with your kids, students or other young people in your life. Here is a short list that we’ve compiled for you:

From This Office

If you haven’t already done this, spend some time on our site for young people, parents and educators, It’s full of tips about how young people can enjoy digital tools while staying safe and protecting their privacy. We are also featuring a video contest for 12-18-year-olds and a youth blog which discusses privacy issues that young people face. The site also features two teaching lessons on privacy (for grades 7 to 9 and 9 to 12) that were developed in partnership with the Media Awareness Network.

The Media Awareness Network

Their web site is full of valuable tools, including a Passport to the Internet, an online tutorial to help students in grades four to eight develop the critical thinking skills they need to navigate the web in a secure and ethical manner; and the Media Education: Make it Happen! program, which is a series of free resources to help educators understand and facilitate media literacy in their classrooms.

Our international partners face the same challenges and are working on various projects in order to reach youth. Check out the youth privacy web sites of some of our international partners:

Australia’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner – Whether you never think about privacy or always do, they have created a publication for you. They will tell you what some of the privacy issues are that you might face, some of the pitfalls to avoid, and who to turn to for help if your privacy has been affected.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data of Hong Kong has developed an interactive web site that aims to provide access to information regarding the execution of the Ordinance. It offers unparalleled user-friendly functions and a Privacy Zone for Youngsters that includes a few games.

The Information Commissioner Office of the UK has a youth site that is aimed at helping them protect their personal information.

YOU decide… an ingenious campaign put together by the Norwegian Board of Technology, the Norwegian Data Inspectorate and the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. Their videos, web site and guidebooks are produced by kids, for kids.

8 Sep 2009

Protecting personal information online – do young people get it?

Our Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart is worried that maybe they don’t. After conducting an investigation into Facebook’s privacy policies, we’re now turning our attention to youth as the school year gets underway. Because while they may be savvy about using social media, many of them still may not know how to create a secure online identity.

If you’re listening to the radio today you may hear a message from our office that we created especially for young Canadians. In case you miss it, we’ve provided clips from it for you here . The gist of it is that many young people are still jeopardizing their safety, and possibly compromising their futures, by sharing photos and information – some of it inappropriate – with people they don’t know… people who may not be who they say they are.

Young people – everyone, really –  need to always be aware that the personal information that they post online could be used in a variety of shady ways, from embarrassing them, to stealing their identities – even for finding out where they live, go to school, or their plans for the weekend. Our radio message urges young people (and their parents and teachers) to regularly visit for information on safely using the Internet and social networking sites.

The message also reminds everyone that we’re inviting all young people, between the ages of 12 and 18, to participate in our second annual video contest. All they have to do is create a one- to two-minute public service announcement on the importance of privacy by Friday, December 11th and they could win some really cool prizes!

2 Jun 2009

We’re launching our 2009 My Privacy & Me Video Contest!

We have exciting news that we hope you will share with your children, students, neighbours – whoever! We’re launching our 2009 My Privacy & Me National Video Competition for youth! Again, we’re asking 12- to 18-year-olds to create their own public service announcements on the issue of privacy. The videos should between 60 and 120 seconds long, and speak to other young people about how important privacy is. They can record the videos, animate them – present them however they like. And as long as the focus is on some aspect of personal privacy they can make it about whatever they want.

For inspiration, sit down with them and watch the 2008 winning and finalist videos. In our first-place video, A Lesson in Privacy, watch as Shelby the Snail teaches Timothy Turtle a lesson about Facebook etiquette.


In our second-place video, The Facebook Experiment, see why accepting someone you don’t know as a friend on a social networking site can have unsettling consequences.

And in our third-place video, Your Life, Your Privacy, find out how some young people put way too much faith in their computers.

They can watch the rest of the seven finalist videos here. Then, have them grab a video camera. Just think – one of them could be our next contest winner!

And if they need further inspiration, last year’s winners won some pretty cool prizes – an iPod Touch, gift cards to their favourite stores and we posted the videos on our web sites and YouTube channel – so they were seen by tonnes of kids. Plus, the top-participating schools won a top-of-the-line video editing software packages. Stay tuned for information about this year’s prizes!

15 Apr 2009

Further evidence on how the online and the private truly MESH

Once again, folks from the Office attended “Canada’s web conference”, MESH 2009, in Toronto – a place where flacks, marketers, hackers, people with money to spend, people looking for money, and activists gather and talk about how the web is “affecting media, marketing, business and society as a whole”.

Just ten minutes at this conference is a lesson in how much human communication has changed. People don’t generally put up their hands to ask questions – instead they send messages to the organizers through Twitter. When Toronto Mayor, David Miller (who is known for using the web to get information out to citizens) gave his keynote, and was subsequently interviewed onstage, he paused several times to either tweet or to read new messages he was receiving. And gone are the days of hanging around after a presentation to fill out a feedback form – at this conference people send tweets about the quality of a speaker or session as it’s unfolding, causing others to abandon simultaneously-running sessions to join the one that’s getting all the attention.

All it takes is a quick glance at some of the sessions that were offered (“managing your persona online”; how to integrate social media into your marketing plan”; and “using online word of mouth” are just a few examples) to see how privacy is intertwined with the new online reality. One keynote speaker, Jessica Jackley, co-founder of, the world’s first peer-to-peer online micro-lending web site, is living proof of how the Internet can be used for good. But isn’t privacy also a theme here, what with the online financial transactions that make the whole thing possible, not to mention the protection of the personal details of both the lenders and entrepreneurs?

The MESH conference tagline is “connect, share and inspire” and one of the themes is while social media can be “a difficult reality for some companies, it also offers tremendous opportunities for both businesses and individuals to communicate, collaborate, entertain and inform”. These are exciting words and ideas – as long as we don’t forget the important privacy implications that go hand-in-hand with them.

11 Feb 2009

We have our winners!

We have the winning videos from the 2008 My Privacy & Me National Video Competition for young people! Participants from Encounters with Canada, a national youth forum that brings together teens from across Canada for week-long adventures in learning and discovery, selected the winners from among seven finalists.

The top three video artists are:

1st place: Siobhan Mortimer of John F. Ross CVI school in Guelph, Ontario, with a video titled A Lesson in Privacy. She wins a $100 gift card and an iPod Touch.

2nd place: Kevin Saychareun and Jennifer Paul of St. Marguerite d’Youville Secondary school in Brampton, Ontario, with a video titled The Facebook Experiment. They each win a $250 gift card.

3rd place: Sam Gawron, also of John F. Ross CVI in Guelph, with a video titled Your Life, Your Privacy. She wins a $150 gift card.

Four secondary schools and their teachers were also recognized for their enthusiastic participation in the contest. They were:

o Carol Shaw, of Woodstock Collegiate Institute in Woodstock, Ont., with 11 entries.
o Michelle Brady, of John F. Ross Collegiate Vocational Institute in Guelph, Ont., with six entries.
o Toby Rosenbloom, of Glebe Collegiate Institute in Ottawa, with five entries.
o Majet Mattar, of Canterbury High School in Ottawa, with four entries.

Each winning school receives Adobe software, including suites of design tools and editing products for video and still photography.

The videos have been posted to our youth web site and can also be viewed on our YouTube channel.

We were so pleased with the number and quality of submissions we received in the first year of our contest – stay tuned for more information about our 2009 contest!

6 Feb 2009

Check out the seven finalist videos from our youth video contest!

The deadline has passed, the videos are in and we have seven finalist videos from our 2008 My Privacy & Me National Video Competition for young people. Watch these videos and you’ll see how young people took our instructions to heart. These videos cover a wide-range of privacy topics and can easily be used as public service announcements. They communicate many different privacy messages and were shot in a variety of formats, from claymation to animation to staged skits. Most importantly, each video conveys the importance of personal privacy.

We were thrilled with the response we got to our first contest – when you watch these seven videos you’ll see first-hand the caliber of the videos we received.

Stay tuned for news on the winning video and on the second- and third-place finishes. On February 10th, we are holding an event with the students from the Encounters with Canada program. These students, from schools all across Canada, will view our seven final videos and choose the first, second and third-place winners. We will feature these winning videos on this site and on our YouTube channel. The winning artists will receive an iPod Touch and a $100 gift card to the store of their choice. Second place gets a $250 gift card; third place gets a $150 gift card. On February 10th, we will also announce the school that submitted the most entries – this lucky school entries automatically wins Adobe Creative Suite, one of the best software design packages available.

We hope you enjoy watching these impressive videos that young people created for our contest. And stay tuned for information on our 2009 My Privacy & Me National Video Competition!

2 Jun 2008

Do you enjoy being watched?

The author of a new article on surveillance in The Walrus thinks you do. Hal Niedzviecki says that while the thought of being monitored used to disturb us (think George Orwell and Nineteen Eighty-Four), cameras and other surveillance techniques are so prevalent today that we’ve stopped noticing them. And, he says, when we do notice we don’t really care (case in point: when it was announced that 10,000 cameras would be installed in Toronto’s subways, streetcars and buses, he asserts that citizens “shrugged and went about their business”).

What’s more, he points out that video cameras are only one means of surveillance – and that many people don’t realize this. Think of Air Miles programs that collect information on your shopping habits (and give you points in return) and social networking sites that let you update your “status”, enabling you to let people know what you are doing as often as you like. Because we enjoy these activities, and because some of them bring us pleasure, Niedzviecki makes the argument that we actually enjoy being watched.

He also contends that because we enjoy many of these activities, and because our current focus is more on protection against terrorism than on privacy and state totalitarianism, we either see surveillance as a good thing (protection) or we get so used to it that we don’t see it at all. He goes into detail about the implications of this.

And while some of the author’s concerns might be a bit of a stretch (he refers to Hitler’s actions as “the world’s first genocide by database”), it does make sense to think twice when you are revealing personal information online and when out in the real world doing seemingly simple things like buying milk. And if you have questions about how you are being watched you can always refer to OPC guidelines on video surveillance in the public sector and in the private sector.