As part of the IXmaps project, Faculty of Information Professor, Andrew Clement, and Prof. Jonathan Obar (Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, University of Ontario Institute of Technology) conducted research into Canadians’ data privacy rights in the newly released report, “Keeping Internet Users in the Know or in the Dark? A Report on the Data Privacy Transparency of Canadian Internet Carriers,” in collaboration with the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy (CILP), Faculty of Law, University of Toronto.
In the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations about mass state surveillance, notably by the US National Security Agency and its Five Eyes partners, there is growing demand for internet carriers to be more forthcoming about how they handle our personal information. Calls for greater privacy transparency in Canada became more urgent after it was revealed that Canadian government agencies are asking telecoms companies to turn over Canadians’ user data at “jaw-dropping” rates. Nine carriers received nearly 1.2 million requests in 2011 alone, largely without warrants.
Responding to these concerns, as well as in keeping with the transparency, openness and accountability principles fundamental to Canadian privacy law, this is the second annual report that evaluates the data privacy transparency of the most significant internet carriers serving the Canadian public.