If you follow me on LinkedIn, you will have noticed I’ve begun marking my students’ assignments now that they have started to trickle in. In my post, I wrote that:
“One of my students wrote the following opening paragraph for their assignment on public sector privacy law in Canada. Need for reform?
- Big hair, big shoulders, and popped collars. Michael Jackson rocked the world with the single release of 'Billie Jean' from his recently released Thriller album. The Return of the Jedi opened in theatres, grossing $374 million in its initial run. The New York Islanders won their fourth straight Stanley Cup, beating Hart Trophy winner Wayne Gretzky and pushing his first Cup victory back a year. Meanwhile, McDonald’s introduced the McNugget, a classic menu item that has remained unchanged over the last 38 years. In a similar vein, the Government of Canada introduced the Privacy Act. It has also remained largely unchanged over the last 38 years.”
My post got a large reaction, mostly calling on me to give the student a high grade.
My favorite comment, which was said privately, was “chicken McNugget = privacy act.” That made me laugh.
You can debate whether or not McNuggets are tasty, but there’s no question they are unhealthy — just like an out-of-date privacy law.
More seriously, I receive regular messages from many of you who have tried to force the issue and the need for a modern privacy regime. You’ve written to your MPs, you’ve made your views known, and you don’t know what else to do to make it advance. I admit I feel a bit powerless too. All I can say is that we should not sit quietly or assume things will move forward without louder protest. So, I urge you, if you’re given an opportunity, say something. And make a good point of it, like my student.
The student, by the way, is Hyrum Sutton, who can also be found on LinkedIn. Let’s make him super popular by connecting with him.
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