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Memorial participates in privacy awareness day

By Jeff Green

A pair of events on the St. John’s campus last month aimed to boost the public’s awareness about data privacy issues. One of the goals was to encourage students and staff to learn more about how they can protect their privacy when online.

Data Privacy Day was a joint initiative between Memorial’s Information Access and Privacy Protection Office, as well as the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Newfoundland and Labrador (OPIC), and Camouflage Software Inc.

An information booth was set up on the third floor of the Smallwood Centre on Wednesday, Jan. 28, looking at things such as phishing, identify theft and privacy in social networking.

Meanwhile, later that day, a free lecture examined the variety of ways that data is lost online.

The talk was titled I Know What You Did Last Summer: Stories of Personal Data Loss from 2008.

The discussion focussed on the various ways data are lost by focusing on local and international stories of data loss and theft over the past year, including the recent Macdonald Drive Junior High hacking incident, and the LimeWire data loss at the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Health and Community Services.

Speakers included Rosemary Smith, co-ordinator of Memorial’s Information Access and Privacy Protection Office, as well as Dr. David Morgan, director of privacy research at Camouflage Software; and Lionel Clarke, an investigator from the OIPC.