Who is reading about you?
By Communications Staff
October 12, 2006
Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian issued a
warning to students Thursday to consider privacy issues before
using social networking sites on the Internet.
The Commissioner and social networking web site Facebook released a joint brochure, When Online Gets Out of Line: Privacy - Make an Informed Online Choice, to encourage university, college and high school students "to carefully consider their privacy options before hitting 'send'".
The Information and Privacy Commissioner reports to the Ontario legislature.
"Social networking sites are becoming a significant technological and social phenomenon," said the Commissioner.
"These websites help to connect people with various interests and are becoming increasingly popular with university and college students. They can offer basic information about people and also provide blogs, chat rooms and discussion forums. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of these websites.
"Most offer students minimal protection."
The Commissioner, who met with a university students to discuss how they use social networks, is urging students from high school to university to take five minutes and read the brochure.
"When you choose to connect with your friends through a social networking website, remember that you are ultimately responsible for determining what information you share with others," said the Commissioner.
"Make sure you select a website that allows you to make real choices about how and to whom you reveal the information you post. By default, many social networking websites allow all registered users to access all the information that is posted on the website."
Advice in the brochure includes urging users to ask themselves:
•; Does the service offer the choice to block availability of certain sensitive information?
•; Can you limit your profile to being viewed only with your permission by those who are not "confirmed friends?"
•; Are the pictures and information on your profile or in your blog appropriate?
•; Are you comfortable sharing all of the information on your profile with people you have never met?
The brochure is available online at www.ipc.on.ca
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Off-Campus Advertising Sales:
Chris Amyot, Campus Ad
National Advertising Representative:
The University of Western Ontario