50K to study Facebook

Two University of Guelph students will use $50,000 from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to further research on what motivates individuals’ disclosure of personal information on Facebook.

PhD candidates Amy Muise and Emily Christofides published research last year showing that a drive to be popular prompts university students to divulge personal details on the site. With the OPC funds, the researchers will expand the study to include high school and adult populations.

The grant was one of 11 awarded through the OPC Contributions Program, which helps advance critical research in the areas of privacy and data protection.

All 2009-2010 Contributions Program grant recipients:

Canadian Association of the Deaf
For a public education campaign to inform Canadians with hearing impairments about identity theft, privacy rights, and Internet scams

International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP Canada)
To bring free privacy education workshops to Canadian cities to serve local privacy and information security professionals    

Coopérative radiophonique de Toronto (CHOQ-FM)
To roll-out an awareness campaign about the Canadian privacy protection framework aimed at Francophone minorities in Ontario, as well as Francophone minority groups elsewhere outside Quebec

Option Consommateurs
To host awareness seminars on identity theft and privacy protection aimed at seniors

Association sur l’accès et la protection de l’information (AAPI)
To create a portal that will contain fact sheets, brochures, games, quizzes, videos, and links to information regarding privacy

University of Guelph Department of Psychology

To advance the understanding of information sharing on Facebook by high school students and adults through a literature review and survey

University of Alberta Health Law Institute

To examine the privacy policies and practices of a sample of direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies to assess their compliance with PIPEDA

University of Victoria Department of Political Science
To develop a repository of information about Deep-Packet Inspection in Canada, including what it is, how, and why it’s used

Memorial University
To study the attitudes of residents of Newfoundland and Labrador relative to the importance they place on the privacy of their personal health information

Union des consommateurs
To study existing legislation to determine if it ensures the safeguarding of Canadians’ health information

Queen’s University
To build on research by the Surveillance Camera Awareness Network, organize a workshop, and commission papers on privacy and camera surveillance   


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