From previous remarks in this space, you know I feel strongly about the need to have a proper debate and analysis of Bill C-51. That being said, I think I’ll spare everyone, and keep my shirt on, thank you very much. Kudos to those willing to bare it all this week in an effort to get their message across …
In the news this week—apart from the story of the enthusiastic protestor—is another stern warning by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to do things properly, especially if you’re a business that deals with children. I think this is a very good message to send, and it came about from an investigation of the company that operates Webkinz World.
From what I gather in reading the information, this was a company that did try to do a number of things right when it came to privacy, but they had some important shortcomings the commissioner's office had to highlight, particularly given the vulnerability of this age group. I guess that's why, in addition to releasing findings, they took the time to put out some guidance for companies engaged in the same kind of online activities directed toward kids.
Children are going online at a younger and younger age these days. Just tonight, a seven-year-old was asking me what the difference is between Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr. Seriously! In my view, with kids, the accountable organization is going to be one that not only follows the letter of the law, which we all know leaves a bit of marge-de-manoeuvre, as PIPEDA is not so prescriptive, and takes the high road—applies the highest standard possible—to protect our kids. I'm pretty sure it'll be worth it in the long term.
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