29th International Conference of
Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners
Children's Privacy Education
9h – 11h15
Terra Incognita, workbook series # 16
Table of contents
- Ms. Marita Moll — Chair
- Mr. Tom Hillman
- Ms. Melissa Luhtanen
- Ms. Cathy Wing
Ms. Marita Moll
Marita Moll is a researcher and writer on the impact of new technologies on society. She lectures at Ottawa’s Carleton University in the field of Technology, Society and Environment and is a co-investigator with the Canadian Research Alliance for Community Innovation and Networking alliance (www.cracin.ca) funded under the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council's (SSHRC) Initiative for the New Economy. As former head of Research and Technology at the Canadian Teachers' Federation, she wrote many articles on the impact of new technologies in schools with a particular emphasis on privacy issues for teachers and students.
Mr. Tom Hillman
Tom Hillman is a researcher and designer of products and environments that are intended to foster learning. A graduate of Carleton University’s School of Industrial Design, Mr. Hillman Initially worked creating such varied products as telecommunications equipment and swimming goggles. During a chance contract designing an exhibition for the Canada Science and Technology Museum he became fascinated by the idea of designing with pedagogical intent. After working on the design of both physical and virtual exhibitions for such museums as the Science Centre of Iowa, the Canadian Museum of Nature and the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, Tom Hillman engaged his curiosity further by enrolling in a Master’s degree in Education (Psychopedagogy). Now undertaking a Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education, his research continues to focus on the influence the design of an object or environment has on learning.
Ms. Melissa Luhtanen
Melissa Luhtanen is a lawyer and a Human Rights Educator at the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre. She is a Member of the Law Society of Alberta and was called to the Bar in 2000. As an Educator Melissa Luhtanen has spoken in a variety of contexts including a Judge’s Education Conference, and the annual Calgary Teacher’s Conventions. Ms. Luhtanen sits on a number of committees which promote human rights in the province, including the Calgary Police Service Liaison Committee, Safety Under the Rainbow, and Youthsafe.net. She is currently working on a project on oil and gas issues and human rights.
Ms. Cathy Wing
Cathy Wing is currently Acting Executive Director for the Media Awareness Network (MNet), a national not-for profit education organization that has pioneered the development of media and Internet literacy programs in Canada since 1996. Cathy Wing has worked in the media education field for many years—managing the development of media literacy resources and programs for the education and community sectors. In addition, she coordinates MNet’s ongoing national research project—Young Canadians in a Wired World— which tracks the Internet habits of Canadian students. Ms. Wing is an internationally recognized expert on children’s Internet issues and trends. As such, she has presented extensively at international conferences and participated in various government and industry task forces on issues related to the Internet. With a background in film studies, Cathy Wing's previous career was in the film and television industry as a current affairs and news producer.
29th International Conference of
Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners
Introduction - Three Exemplars of Privacy Education
This workshop will examine three privacy education modules that have been effectively used in the classroom.
The Media Awareness Network will demonstrate a number of games, including the award-winning Privacy Playground: The First Adventure of the Three Cyberpigs, as well as lesson plans and teaching modules specifically designed to provide children with an in-depth understanding of the relationship between privacy and their own experiences as consumers and citizens.
The Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre will showcase the Techno-tonomy manual, an interactive textbook designed to provide teachers with background information and student materials on privacy.
The On the Identity Trail Project will introduce a new privacy module called In Your I that provides students with an opportunity to explore the deeper relationships between privacy, autonomy and identity in a networked environment. The In Your I project was developed with the assistance of over 100 Ottawa high school students.
Goals of Privacy Education
Policy makers have typically failed to be good educators because they tend to confuse education with a communications strategy. A good communications strategy seeks to disseminate information, usually as widely as possible; and success is often measured by the number of individuals who receive the information. A public education strategy, on the other hand, not only seeks to inform but also to engage individuals in a process that challenges them to draw their own conclusions and incorporate what they have learned into their own framework of values.
While both strategies provide information, education also provides individuals with a context in which to place the information. The design of an education strategy is driven by the content of the message rather than the dynamics of distribution, and its success is more properly measured by changes in attitudes over the long term.
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada is required, under s. 24 of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) to:
- develop and conduct information programs to foster public understanding, and recognition of the purposes of the Bill
- undertake and publish research that is related to the protection of personal information
- promote, by any means that the Commissioner considers appropriate, the purposes of the Bill
This workshop examines three educational initiatives that are designed to help meet this mandate.
It is clear that PIPEDA requires a solid communications strategy so citizens are aware of their rights in the electronic marketplace. However, individuals are unlikely to be motivated to use the tools set out in Act unless they are also aware of: (1) how their privacy is invaded; and (2) what kind of personal and social consequences flow from the invasion. Privacy education therefore requires a broader focus which places the provisions of data protection laws in a larger context.
A strong privacy education program will:
- promote public awareness of invasive practices;
- promote public awareness of the personal and social consequences of invasive practices; and
- provide individuals with the tools they need to protect their own privacy.
Educating Canadian Youth
Trickle Up/Trickle Down Effect
Education initiatives aimed at young persons are attractive because a change in attitudes among young persons today will trickle down into better policies in ten to fifteen years. There is also a trickle up effect whereby young persons educate their parents about the issues. Accordingly, there is a significant return for every dollar spent on this kind of education.
Content over Form
Educators often point to the success of the environmental movement to illustrate how powerfully education can promote social change. However, the design of each initiative is critical.
Initiatives that are superficial and do not provide young persons with enough information to explore the deeper meaning of the concepts may generate a lot of interest in a topic, but if there is no depth to the project, young people will be left with no more understanding of the issues than they started with.
School is the ideal environment to disseminate education materials because there is a captive audience. Lesson plans, educational games and special events are all appropriate educational vehicles. However, it is important to remember that teachers tend to look for educational materials that are designed for one of the traditional subjects in the school curriculum. A “privacy project” will not attract as many teachers as will a history, social studies or language arts unit that incorporates privacy issues. It is therefore imperative to develop a broad range of educational initiatives that will attract teachers of various subjects.
It is important to provide the teacher with enough information and background resources to enable him or her to gain a solid understanding of the meaning and importance of privacy.
Backgrounders and high quality teaching guides are therefore essential elements of any educational initiative designed for the classroom.