Data Privacy Day

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Each year on January 28, Data Privacy Day is celebrated by various countries, corporations, privacy professionals and citizens. The purpose of Data Privacy Day is to raise awareness about the public’s right to privacy, to consider how present-day technologies impact privacy rights, and to highlight the importance of protecting personal information.

Freedom from interference with privacy is protected under Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But how does this right translate to the 21st century? With the emergence of technological advancements such as cloud computing and social media, the right to privacy has never been so difficult to uphold. Nowadays, personal information is exchanged on such a regular basis it has almost become common practice and the disclosure of personal information is rarely questioned when requested. Understanding privacy rights in a digital world can be overwhelming, however, there are a number of simple ways in which citizens and consumers can take charge of their personal information.


Ask questions!

Many organizations have a Privacy Officer or a designated employee responsible for the privacy practices of the organization. It is well within your rights to ask questions when your personal information is being collected. Below are some questions you may want to consider asking before disclosing personal information:

  • Why is this information required?
  • How will this information be used?
  • Will the information be shared outside of the organization? If so, with whom and for what purpose?
  • How long will the organization keep my information?
  • Will I be able to access my personal information?

Oftentimes, these questions will be addressed in a comprehensive privacy notice, statement or policy. 


Read privacy notices!

Although sometimes confusing and difficult to interpret, privacy notices exist for a reason – to advise individuals of how their personal information will be used. Be sure to at least glance at these notices to understand how your personal information will be managed.


Be privacy aware!

To learn more about privacy rights within Canada, visit The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.  For more information about Data Privacy Day, visit Stay Safe Online or follow #PrivacyAware on Twitter. 

At the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, we aspire to the highest standards of good governance, of which protecting the personal information of our visitors is a key component. To learn more about the Museum’s privacy practices, see our online Privacy Statement or contact atip [at] humanrights.ca.