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In the platform economy, data has become a highly valued commodity, which companies use to bombard us with targeted advertising and lock us into long-term relationships.  As citizens, it is hard to understand what companies know about us, and how they are using this information.  This can create feelings of disorientation and paranoia, as well as disempowerment, especially since user agreements force us to decide between accepting corporate data practices and foregoing access to their services.  

Our lack of understanding about how companies use our data is no accident. If we are uninformed and we don’t have the means to become informed, the power gap between companies and ourselves widens. Our relationship with data collecting companies is unequal and inequitable - but does it really need to be that way?

Note: These workshops, hosted by Dr. Katherine Reilly, assistant professor in the School of Communication at SFU, were originally scheduled to take place in person during the Community Summit Overcoming Inequality in early April. With the need for social distancing due to COVID-19, we will now be holding these workshops over Zoom. Upon registration, you will receive a link to access the workshop. Slots are limited during for this pilot phase.

For information on how to protect your privacy on Zoom and the technology required to participate in the workshop, click here.

Workshop 1:
Your Rights, Your Tools

In the first interactive workshop of our two part series, you will learn about how private companies use your personal data, as well as your rights and responsibilities under Canada’s personal data protection laws.  In particular, we will show you how to request the personal data that private companies hold about you, and suggest some of the ways you can use this knowledge to enforce your rights and seek greater data justice.  Through this exploration, you will gain greater data literacy, and you will gain tools and strategies to address power imbalances between yourself and the companies that hold your personal data.

This workshop will be of interest to citizens, educators, researchers, community agencies, librarians, policy makers and other stakeholders who want to learn about digital justice and enhance their citizen data literacy.  No prior knowledge or experience is required. 

WORKSHOP GOALS

  1. Gain a deeper understanding of how companies use your personal data.
  2. Learn about Canada’s data protection laws, and what they mean for you.
  3. Learn how to submit data requests to companies that hold your personal data. 

WHEN

Thursday, April 16

12:00 - 2:00 PM

WHERE

Zoom
A link to join the webinar will be sent to registrants via Eventbrite.

We respectfully acknowledge that this event is hosted on the Unceded, Traditional, Ancestral Territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm First Nations.

Workshop 2:
Making Sense of Personal Data Requests

In the first workshop of this series, we explored how to access data that Facebook and Google hold about us, as well as how to submit requests to companies in Canada to access the data they hold about us. Accessmyinfo.ca, a tool created by Citizen Lab, aids in the process of submitting requests by generating letters for you to send to companies to access your data.

In the second interactive workshop of this series we will show you how to carry out a citizen data audit. Citizen data audits are a way to evaluate how companies collect, manage and use our personal data. Our audits will evaluate the process of requesting personal data, whether or not companies responded to our requests, what those responses looked like, and the quality of the data that we got back.  

After this, we will reflect on what our findings mean for Canadian personal data protections. What do corporate data practices mean for you and your community? Can you imagine a more just system of personal data management?  What would that look like? Through this exploration, you will gain greater data literacy, and you will gain tools and strategies to address power imbalances between yourself and the companies that hold your personal data.

Note: While it is not necessary to have attended workshop 1 to attend workshop 2, we ask that you please submit a request to access your data from a company in Canada using a letter generated by accessmyinfo.ca. If you would like to submit a request to a company not listed on accessmyinfo.ca, you can modify the types of data you ask for, and the contact info of the organization you wish to access your data from. For your convenience, we have provided you with a list of the contact information of the most popular loyalty programs and food delivery services in Canada. Please submit your letter ASAP as it will take up to 30 days to receive your data from the company you request it from.

WORKSHOP GOALS

  1. Examine the experience of submitting data requests to companies
  2. Evaluate whether companies are (or aren’t) obeying Canada’s data protection laws
  3. Imagine ways to create better data stewardship regimes in the platform economy

WHEN

Tuesday, May 19

12:00 - 2:00 PM

WHERE

Zoom
A link to join the webinar will be sent to registrants via Eventbrite.

We respectfully acknowledge that this event is hosted on the Unceded, Traditional, Ancestral Territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm First Nations.

CANADIAN LOYALTY PROGRAMS

Program Email Maililing Address Phone
Airmiles privacyoffice@airmiles.ca  P.O. Box 602, Station A, Scarborough, Ontario M1K 5K7  
Aeroplan aeroplanprivacy@aircanada.ca P.O. Box 23000, Station Pointe-Claire-Dorval, Pointe-Claire, QC H9Y 1K2  
Optimum loblawprivacy@loblaw.ca 1 President’s Choice Circle, Brampton, ON L6Y 5S5 1-855-416-1244
Scene support@scene.ca   1-866-586-2805
Triangle privacyinquiries@ctfs.com 475 Superior Court, Oakville, ON L6L 0C6 1-866-846-5841

FOOD DELIVERY SERVICES

Program Email Mailing Address Phone
Skip the Dishes privacy@skipthedishes.com 800 - 136 Market Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0P4   
Uber (including Uber Eats)      
Foodora dpo@deliveryhero.com 579 Richmond St W, Suite 200,Toronto, ON M5V 1Y6  
Instacart privacy@instacart.com 50 Beale Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, California 94105 1-888-246-7822
HelloFresh privacy@hellofresh.com   1-844-242-2169
Chef's Plate hello@chefsplate.com 30-34 Duncan Street, Toronto, ON M5V 2C3  
Goodfood chef@makegoodfood.ca    

Registration Disclaimer

Registration slots are limited for the pilot phase of this workshop webinar series. We encourage you to sign up early if you are interested in attending.

Accessibility, technology and privacy

Technology requirements

This workshop will be presented in a participatory webinar format using Zoom. To engage fully you will need:

  • A laptop, computer, or smartphone
  • A webcam
  • A microphone
  • Speakers or headphones
  • Optional: Access to two browsers. We will be introducing a web tool. You’ll be able to use it during the seminar if you have a separate device or a screen large enough for multiple windows.

Privacy concerns and Zoom

As we have collectively transitioned to self-isolation, Zoom has emerged as a leader in video conferencing, helping us to connect with one another, but not without a plethora of privacy-related problems. As you may have heard from The New York Times, The Washington Post, or CTV, Zoom’s privacy practices are deeply concerning.

We do realise and acknowledge the irony of conducting a privacy-centric webinar on such a tool, but we intend to use Zoom as a case study to kick-off our discussions, to help us see the implications of privacy policies and practices in our everyday lives.

Protecting your privacy

To ensure that we are using Zoom in a privacy-conscious way, we will be discussing (and implementing) best practices throughout the webinar:

  • We will only circulate the meeting link to those who are registered for the webinar
  • We will password protect the webinar
  • We will enable end-to-end encryption
  • We will not use attention tracking

To protect your own privacy we suggest that:

  • You use a unique email address to log into Zoom. This is so that Zoom can’t cross-reference your profile with the rest of your digital profiles under your email address.
  • We suggest you do not use your Facebook profile to log into Zoom. This is so that Zoom can’t cross-reference you with your Facebook account.
  • We remind you that whatever you say in the webinar is public and recorded, so please do not share sensitive information about yourself or others, and do not say anything you do not wish to enter the public domain.

To protect the privacy of others we ask that:

  • You do not record or photograph yourself, other participants, or the hosts during the webinar, unless permission is requested and given.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments regarding this event’s accessibility or privacy, feel free to connect with us at psqevent@sfu.ca or 778-782-9442. 

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