Privacy Commissioner and Child and Youth Advocate to Team Up on Children’s Online Safety

November 20, 2009

Information and Privacy commissioner Frank Work and Child and Youth Advocate John Mould will team up to develop awareness and education programs on children’s online safety. The announcement comes in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of Canada’s signing of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child.

A discussion paper addressing issues surrounding the harms children may face online, including exploitative marketing practices, cyber-bullying through social networking sites and child sexual exploitation including child pornography has also been released.

Commissioner Work says education and awareness is a good starting point. “If we can get directly to children to inform them about the darker areas of the internet and the things they need to watch out for, that’s a good thing. I think the discussion paper is food for thought and I hope it will generate interest and discussion which in turn will lead to a healthy debate about children’s online safety.”

Child and Youth Advocate John Mould says, “This discussion paper is an immensely useful tool for exploring the privacy challenges related to innovations in communications technology. It is written to provoke discussion and awareness and to seek out solutions to protect children using the internet. We must look at ways to eliminate exploitation of children and this paper presents numerous options for us to do so.”

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner and Child and Youth Advocate will work with each other to develop awareness and educational materials to assist children in identifying the risks of the internet. The discussion paper “There Ought to be a Law: Protecting Children’s Online Privacy in the 21st Century”, a joint project of the Canadian Council of Provincial Child and Youth Advocates and the Canadian Privacy Commissioners, is available on the Child and Youth Advocate’s website.