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Privacy Commissioner releases online reputation study

The Ottawa-based Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has released a new report on the subject of online reputation management. The report states that Canadian consumers need better tools to help them protect their reputations online, such as the ability the ask search engines to de-index inaccurate or outdated web pages, as well as the ability to remove or amend such information at the source. The report also states that a balance must be achieved between these goals and other priorities such as freedom of expression and public interest. It also emphasizes the need for more public education on the issue.

The Privacy Commissioner has also released a draft position on the subject of online reputation that highlights existing legal protections in Canada as well as potential legislative changes and other proposed solutions.

"Canadians have told us they are concerned about these growing risks to their reputation," said Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien. "We want to provide people with greater control to protect themselves from these reputational risks. Ultimately, the objective is to create an environment where people can use the internet to explore and develop without fear their digital traces will lead to unfair treatment. While it's important to take action on de-indexing, we are also recommending that Parliament undertake a study of this issue. Elected officials should confirm the right balance between privacy and freedom of expression in our democratic society."

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