Youth Need Protection When it Comes to Online Privacy: Reynolds

February 09, 2018

Counsel Molly Reynolds has shared her views on an Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) report which says Canadians need privacy online to protect again reputation harm.

The Lawyer’s Daily reports the OPC has recommended new legal measures to beef up privacy for Canadians, “including the right to request search engines to de-index web pages that contain inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated information about themselves.”

One demographic the report specifically calls out to increase protection is minors. Molly agrees with the report’s sentiment that emphasizes the need to protect youth through removing “any content from the [i]nternet that they have posted themselves or information they have provided to an organization to post.”

Molly told The Lawyer’s Daily immaturity and lack of life experience might bring youth to post information or opinion publically which then has the potential to damage their reputation or career prospects in the future.

“From a policy perspective, there is quite rightly a focus on the vulnerability of young people ... in the online community,” she said.

Molly expects the OPC report to be finalized into a guidance document, rather than into legislative form, which will include “how the privacy commissioner will view any complaints that are investigated with respect to removing online content or de-indexing pages from search results.”

“However, in my view it should not lead to legislative reform—the existing principles in PIPEDA are sufficient to address the issue of online reputation, and the OPC and the courts are capable of applying those principles to new technology and social issues,” Molly said.

You can learn more about Torys’ privacy work by heading to its practice page

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