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This desire for privacy is why most people close doors, why individuals do not post things such as social security numbers on social media, and why people sometimes turn off their cell phones and computers. It is not an attempt to be antisocial, but rather simply not wanting to share parts of our lives and time with others. Privacy to me means an innate need for my information to be kept confidential and only to be shared when I have given consent. Having privacy also means that I have control over my information, as well as the knowledge of where it is going and how it is going to be handled. . . .
– Peer Privacy Protector

On March 26, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association launched its Peer Privacy Protectors Project Guidebook, written by and for teenagers on one of the most pressing issues of the digital age. This privacy guidebook — written by teens, for teens — is the culmination of a year-long project. Copies of the book are available for download.A group of teens aged 13-19 from across Canada worked over two school years to learn more about privacy and how to protect it. Through events, speeches, workshops, and research they focused on  on the priority privacy areas identified by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada: Economics of Personal Information; State Surveillance;  Reputation and Privacy; and The Body as Information.Then they all wrote about what they learned, and what they thought about it.Young people in high school today are some of the first to have lived their whole lives with the internet. The reality is, adults haven’t figured out what the rules should be or how to assess the benefits and risks of living lives where physical and online spaces are intertwined, but teens know it is equally essential to navigate both successfully to get through daily life. This book is by teens and for teens.

The Peer Privacy Protectors are:

Shivani Bala Abeer Hasan Warren Liu B. Sandhu
Raphael Bruk Erum Hasan Natela Makarashvili Sayincraft
Vivian Chu Tania Kengatharan Soham Mehta Miraj Umar
Ravneet Dhaliwal Shreya Kumar Afreen Mohamed Ashwini Yogarajah
Harkiran Gill Maggie Lin Samena Rashid-Mohamed

About the CCLA and CCLET

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Education Trust (CCLA and CCLET)  is a non-partisan, independent, national, non-profit organization that has been at the forefront of protecting fundamental rights, freedoms and democratic life in Canada since 1964. CCLET has long experience talking with Canadian youth (and their teachers) about their rights. In 2014 alone, our education programs were presented to 9,477 students from elementary to university level, in 345 classes across 113 institutions.  We engage students and provide current and future teachers with the knowledge and skills to develop critical thinking about rights and freedoms in the classroom.


This project has been funded by the Office of the  Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC); the views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the OPC.

About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

The CCLA is an independent, non-profit organization with supporters from across the country. Founded in 1964, the CCLA is a national human rights organization committed to defending the rights, dignity, safety, and freedoms of all people in Canada.

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