Protection of children's privacy for 2015 international sweep

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GATINEAU, QC, May 11, 2015 / CNW / - The proliferation of websites and mobile applications that target or are popular with children has raised privacy concerns. This is what prompted the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) to devote the 2015 international sweep to this vulnerable group.

This year's sweep will take place May 11-15 in 20 countries and will involve 29 data protection authorities, including the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

“Previous sweeps have taught us that mobile apps and websites often collect a huge amount of personal information,” says Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien.

“Kids are more connected than ever and administrators of these platforms should take this into account when seeking potentially sensitive data, such as name, location and email address. It's about protecting children. There is nothing more important in my opinion. "

As part of this year's initiative, scavengers - usually volunteers from participating data protection authorities - will assess whether the apps and websites reviewed collect personal information from children and, if so, whether they are. there are protective measures in this regard.

They will also assess whether websites and apps solicit parental involvement, whether they allow users to be redirected off the site, whether it is easy to remove personal information, and whether the privacy statements. private are adapted to the age group they are intended for through processes such as plain language, large print, voice communications and animation.

The international sweep aims to increase public and business awareness of privacy rights and responsibilities, encourage compliance with laws that provide privacy, identify concerns that can be addressed through targeted privacy measures. awareness-raising or law enforcement; and to increase cooperation between authorities responsible for enforcing privacy laws.

The concerns raised during the sweep will give rise to follow-up work such as raising awareness among organizations or putting in place enforcement measures. Experience has taught us that education and awareness can go a long way in ensuring that changes are made without the need for lengthy and costly official investigations.

For example, the sweeping for the protection of privacy concerning mobile applications from last year continues to yield positive results for consumers, as designers agreed to make changes to 136 apps. For more information, consult the blog released today.

“We were very pleased to see that so many designers were responding positively to our outreach efforts and improving their privacy practices. We see this as proof of the success of our annual sweep, ”says Commissioner Therrien.

This year's sweep is the latest in a series of initiatives focused on the important issue of protecting children's privacy. In March, following a investigation of a children's website, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has published a guide containing 10 tips for organizations that collect information from young people.

The Global Privacy Enforcement Network brings together privacy law enforcement authorities from around the world to promote the implementation of transnational privacy laws.

This year's results will be compiled and made public in the fall.

About the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Parliament has given the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada the mandate to act as the ombudsman and guardian of privacy rights in Canada. The Commissioner is responsible for the application of two federal laws relating to the protection of personal information: the Privacy Act, which applies to the federal public sector, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which applies to private sector organizations.

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SOURCE Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

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