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ETHI Committee News Release

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Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
house of commons
K1A 0A6

Comité permanent de l'accès à l'information, de la protection des renseignements personnels et de l'éthique

For immediate release


The Standing Committee on Access to Information Privacy and Ethics presents a report on Street Imaging Applications

Ottawa, January 31, 2011 -

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics released its 11th report today. This report details the Committee’s study of the privacy implications of street level imaging applications such as Google’s Street View and Canpages’ Street Scene, as well as Google’s collection of WiFi payload data from unsecured wireless networks by Google Street View cars. The Committee passed a motion to study this issue in April 2009, following the initial rollout of Google’s photographic mapping activities in Canadian cities in March 2009.

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is designed to help Canadians maintain a measure of control over their personal information collected, used or disclosed by organizations engaged in commercial activities such as technological innovators like Google.

In the study it became clear to the Committee that given the tremendous changes happening in social media and throughout the internet, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that the privacy rights of Canadians are protected. The Committee commends the work of the Privacy Commissioner in protecting the privacy of Canadians in street level imaging applications such as Street View and Street Scene, and in educating the public about the risks and implications of new technology and social media.

“The Committee hopes that this report will raise awareness about the privacy implications of new technology, and will encourage technological innovators such as Google to incorporate the protection of individuals’ privacy into the development of new products,” stated the Chair of the Committee, Shawn Murphy, P.C., M.P.

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For more information, please contact:
Chad Mariage, Clerk of the Committee
Tel: 613-992-1240