Transparency and Accountability
Examinations of transparency and accountability mechanisms relevant to the relationship between corporations and state agencies regarding personal data and other surveillance activities.
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Citizen Lab researchers reviewed the consultation materials, including the “Technical Paper” and the “Discussion Guide” associated with the government’s proposal to address what it has referred to as “online harms.” We provide the following comments in response to that consultation process.
On September 28, the Citizen Lab published an analysis of COVID-19 data collection practices. In this post, we discuss the significance of the findings with report authors.
Given our experiences, we have specific recommendations for how any federal commercial privacy legislation must be amended to better protect individuals from the predations and power of private organizations. In making our recommendations we have chosen to focus almost exclusively on the Openness and Transparency, Access to and Amendment of Personal Information, and Whistleblower sections of Bill C-11.
It is encouraging to see the provincial government undertake efforts to improve the state of privacy law in Ontario, given the increasingly ubiquitous data commodification and surveillance of our behaviours, bodies, online and offline activities, and lives. To that end, the Citizen Lab submitted a brief which included 21 recommendations for legal and policy reform in Ontario, with a view to strengthening the privacy and data protection rights of individuals in the province.
Using the AMI approach, partners have launched projects around the world, including in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, and South Korea. These projects focused on making data access requests to telecommunications companies in each country, led by a local researcher and a team of volunteers. Every country has specific laws, regulations, and corporate mechanisms that present unique challenges and opportunities in accessing data, but the results of each provide insights into the larger ecosystem of data access.