Digital privacy and free expression: Complicated ground

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Last night CJFE hosted an online Q&A on privacy and free expression. This was our first adventure in holding an event that takes place without any physical location to host everyone, and is a part of our efforts to ensure that our organization truly represents, and is accessible to, individuals right across the country.

Featuring Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario; Wilf Dinnick, Founding Editor and CEO of Open File; and moderated by Jesse Brown, technology affairs critic, Macleans.ca and Toronto Life magazine, the event saw participants tune in from cities and towns throughout Canada. This was a great indication for us that these are issues and conversations that Canadians are interested in, and encouragement for us to hold more of these events in the future.

So, what was said?

An article based on last night’s online conversation will be featured in CJFE’s annual Review of Free Expression in Canada. But in the meantime, here are two brief takeaways:

1) It’s up to you.
When it comes to protecting your privacy online, you can’t count on companies and third party applications to always act in your best interest – so you need to be proactive. By protecting your own online activities and demanding greater vigilance from the companies and organizations you interact with, you can make a difference.

2) It’s complicated.
The great answers from our panelists helped to clarify perspectives, approaches, and current practices on privacy in Canada. But it also highlighted just how big of an issue this is. From current regulations, to third-party applications, to differing opinions on what information should be private, there are so many more issues that we still need to explore.

Want to learn more? Read the full transcript of the Q&A here.

Your feedback

A huge thanks to everyone who was a part of this event. We look forward to hosting more events like this in the future! If you have any comments on the event, please feel free to email them to CJFE Web and Social Media Editor ltribe@cjfe.org.