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Canada Dashboard Digest | Notes from the IAPP Canada Managing Director, 23 Feb. 2024 Related reading: Notes from the IAPP Canada Managing Director, 16 Feb. 2024

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The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has funded what it calls its "Contributions Program" since 2004. During that time, about CAD8.5 million has fueled over 190 research projects.

The OPC announced this week the summaries of the projects it funded under the program over the last year. You can access the list here if you're interested.

I haven't had a chance to read any of the completed projects yet, but the titles have me intrigued. For example, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind received funding for what sounds like an interesting and important project entitled "Consent and Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility." York University, meanwhile, received some funding to analyze the privacy and security implications of Amazon's Doorbell video monitoring system.

Here's a summary of that York project, which strikes me as another learning intriguing opportunity for all:

"The research team focuses on the Amazon Ring doorbell, an Internet-of-Things device with a built-in surveillance camera. While Amazon has, in the past, declared they do not engage in facial recognition, recent patent filings — for such biometric innovations as facial recognition and skin texture recognition — show other possible developments. Interrogating the Amazon Ring surveillance apparatus, the project consists of three components. Enter the Ring: Facing Amazon's Ring of Surveillance is an immersive art installation where gallery-goers are given the opportunity to experience their face being mapped out in real-time via a Facial Recognition Visualizer. In this exhibit, we also provide an analysis comparing Amazon Ring advertising and their Terms of Service. The research team further developed reports examining Amazon Ring’s data-sharing habits with third parties and policy gaps related to the potential future integration of biometric technologies into Amazon Ring doorbells and other such devices either by manufacturers and service providers or by users themselves."

There are a couple of projects that deal with indigenous privacy issues, which is a topic that we should all take time to better acclimate ourselves on. And, of course, there are some projects dealing with artificial intelligence, particularly those AI technologies powering facial recognition systems.

All in all, some pretty interesting stuff happening in the privacy research community. I hope you find some time soon, maybe even this weekend, to peruse the projects in more detail.

It's good to know there's a lot of privacy-related research being done by various organizations seeking to contribute to public knowledge on so many pertinent topics. 

Have a great weekend.

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