Privacy and young people – Is your organization doing enough?

Young people’s privacy is an important and complex issue in our digital age. Young people have the right to keep their personal information private, but they also face many challenges and risks when they use online platforms and services.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada highlighted the importance of privacy protections for young Canadians in a recent resolution.

In the resolution, the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Privacy Commissioners and Ombuds emphasized that the Canadian government and organizations need to do more to protect young people from well-documented harms (such as mental health-related harms) with respect to products and services that concern or impact young people in a digital environment.

In addition to calling for legislative reform, the resolution outlines specific recommendations for public and private organizations that collect, use or disclose young people’s personal information. These recommendations include:

  1. Build in young people’s privacy and best interests by design
  2. Be transparent
  3. Set privacy protective settings by default, and turn off tracking and profiling
  4. Reject deceptive practices
  5. Limit the disclosure of personal information
  6. Allow for deletion or deindexing and limiting retention
  7. Facilitate access to, and correction of, personal information

Please see the resolution for more information.

The Privacy Commissioners and Ombuds also supplemented the resolution with two companion documents to help organizations further implement these changes:

Any Canadian organization that collects, uses or discloses the personal information of young people should review their privacy practices and programs to comply with the above recommendations and to mitigate any related privacy risks.

Need further information or advice? MLT Aikins Privacy, Data Protection & Cybersecurity team has significant experience advising organizations in a range of privacy-related areas. Contact us to learn more.

Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.