Digital Privacy Across Borders: Canadian and American Perspectives

Digital Privacy Across Borders: Canadian and American Perspectives

Lorayne P. Robertson (University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada), Heather Leatham (University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada), James Robertson (University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada) and Bill Muirhead (University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5933-7.ch011

Abstract

This chapter examines digital privacy and key terminology associated with the protection of online personal information across two countries and through an education lens. The authors raise awareness of the identified risks for students as their online presence grows. The authors highlight some of the potential consequences of a lack of awareness of the risks associated with sharing information online. They outline the obligations of multiple parties (from the vendor to the end user) when students use online apps, including the teachers and parents who want to protect students' digital privacy. Employing policy analysis and a comparative approach, they examine federal, national, and local legislation, as well as curriculum responses to this issue in the USA and Canada. When the authors compare federal policy responses from these two countries, they find that they differ in instructive ways. The chapter concludes with a focus on risk abatement, including solutions and recommendations.
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Background

In earlier times, teachers and parents cautioned children not to share personal information with a stranger or any person they had just met (usually in person and in real time). There was an expectation that information (about children’s lives and their activities) was disclosed only to those with close ties to them, such as their families or caregivers, and only in supervised settings. Names, addresses, and pictures that might identify a child, known as personally identifiable information or PII, were captured on paper files in the school office or the doctor’s office and often there were no mechanisms to connect these discrete paper files from one organization to the next. Use of technology in that era was also simpler; there were expectations that children used technology only under adult supervision, for example using a telephone that was centrally located in the home. In other words, personal information about students was more protected, both through adult supervision and a lack of access.

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