Postcamp Report – PrivacyCampTO 2 a success!

Announcements Melanie Ching | 21 March 2011 | 1 Comment

Registration and breakfast started in the wee hours of the morning for some (okay me). Even so, everyone was able to get their names on a name tag and eat a yummy breakfast (with coffee! and juice! and tea!) to fuel us for the day.

Registration table

Our venue was hosted by the EDGE lab, which is part of lovely Ryerson University. We took over a corner of the 3rd floor at the Rogers Communication Centre for a day filled with meeting new people and discussing privacy. The mission of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada welcomed campers: protect and promote the rights of individuals.

Big thanks to our @privacyprivee sponsors!

The unconference got underway at 10:am with opening remarks by the amazing Gunner. We talked about the guidelines for the day, which included a rule that we had to put away our digital devices. Some of us went rogue and kept them out to bring you liveblogged goodness and tweets on the #privTO hashtag.

Then we had a large game (at least I think it was a game as it sure was fun!) of spectrogram. For those of you who don’t know what that is, a strip of tape was placed down the middle of the room with a centre marker. The group came up with questions where there would be very strong opinions and campers were encouraged to stand on the line depending on whether they strongly agreed or strongly disagreed with the statements. It was great to get to know each other and find new friends with similar (or different) opinions and hear why they feel they way they do.

Walkin' the (spectrogram) line

Then I learned that: campers + sticky notes + sharpies and other assorted writing utensils + wall = the grid!

Everyone was encouraged to write down phrases or questions on sticky notes and put them up on the wall. Then the group re-arranged them together and clustered them by broader topics. These topics included global privacy, community, role of government, defining terms, philosophy, children & youth and healthcare. Everyone had a chance to read all of the notes and then we were all encouraged to integrate them into the breakout sessions. A more in depth description of the morning sessions was captured in the liveblog.

Privacycampers organizing the grid!

Lunch was delicious! While we ate, donations were collected for the Red Cross to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The paper cranes were handmade by @doggyjelly. After lunch it was time to speedgeek. Speakers sacrificed their voices for the opportunity to give everyone a quick (4 min!) summary and then field questions on a topic of their choice. Topics ranged from an overview of the GimpGirl community to how early childhood educators are exploring how young children can use blogs to express themselves.

We followed that up with another round of sessions and check out the liveblog post for a summary of those sessions.

Tsunami Relief Box at Privacy Camp

Then it was time to party. What better way to end a day spent with great people than to find a local establishment to unwind and talk about our day. The discussion moved 5 minutes down the street from the Ryerson campus to the 3 Brewers at Yonge and Dundas. A big thank you to for providing us with cold things to drink and warm things to eat!

Postcamp Social at The 3 Brewers

Overall I had a great time liveblogging the event and I’m glad that I was able to make the postcamp social magic happen.

A huge thank you to:



P.S. Please contact me if you’d like something added/removed/changed.

UPDATE: And the campers have started blogging! I’ll keep a running list of posts here, so check back for additions.

Afternoon Sessions

Liveblogged Melanie Ching | 19 March 2011 | 1 Comment

[2:50 PM]

Session Topics

Singpolyma – Using code and architecture to promote privacy and how laws are insufficient

Heather – Missing persons and privacy

Melanie – Use of cool social spaces (Facebook, Twitter) as creepy treehouses

Paul – Geotagging on Twitter, location privacy

Kate – Connection between autonomy and privacy, especially with children and MMO’s (overturning assumption that kids don’t care about privacy)

[4:05 PM]

Session Reports

Privacy and Coding

  • Interested in the technical aspects
  • Privacy laws won’t necessarily protect individuals, good on a grand historical scale for encoding norms
  • You can’t put the genie back in the bottle for privacy violations
  • How do you keep a secret offline? You don’t tell people that you don’t trust, only tell people you trust
  • Endless stream of issues and we agreed there are some usability and design issues, but question of what the bare minimum of coding knowledge to be able to make an informed decision

Missing persons reporting online

  • During emergencies there are apps that people can use to report missing or deceased persons
  • Who is it for? Emergency workers? People on ground? People on other side of the planet?
  • Why would people go to people finder rather than Facebook?
  • When you’re posting information, where is the gate and who is the gatekeeper? How long is the information valid for? How is the information relevant and pertinent?
  • Is the tool even useful?

Creepy treehouse

  • Space that is “fun” (like a treehouse) that becomes unfun when people are monitoring or evaluating people when they are there
  • How can children learn something meaningful, what do children need to know, what rights do they have, how do we advocate for children?
  • How Ryerson students have professors can monitor whether you have opened or read a document
  • Solution would be to invite all the kids
  • Summary provided by @melaniemcbride

Geotagging your tweets

  • Knowing vs. not knowing about what sort of location data you are sharing with the world
  • Whose responsibility is it to let you know what data is being posted
  • Moral and legal obligations of posting this data

Children and privacy and autonomy

  • Clash of cultures between digital immigrants vs. digital natives
  • Needs to be a way to provide feedback

Done for the day! Drinks now!

Back from Lunch – Speedgeeking!

Liveblogged Melanie Ching | 19 March 2011 | 1 Comment

[2:30 PM]

Lunch was delicious and vegan and organic, potatoes with carrot, chickpeas, quinoa. We came back to group and pushed the chairs the middle of the room to make way for speedgeeking, which is like speed dating but rather than finding true love we expressed ourselves and challenged ideas.

Topics covered (as per the interpretation of moi):

  • Documentaries on social networking and 14 year olds in downtown Toronto
  • Using things like blogs to help pre-schoolers express themselves
  • GimpGirl overview
  • Multiple literacies (including visual) when it comes to expressing ideas in school
  • Following online participation of children over their life
  • Having legal proceedings sealed versus public
  • Privacy and video games: what are your games and consoles sharing about you?
  • Do 18 year old adults deserve a clean slate when it comes to their online persona?

Morning sessions

Liveblogged Melanie Ching | 19 March 2011 | 1 Comment

[11:40 AM]

Session Topics

Jennifer – Social network that is trying to control your online image

Jennifer – Why privacy is different

Kate – philosophy of Facebook privacy

Melanie – Stigma and three twitter handles

Joanne – Differences between Canada and the USA

[12:30 PM]

Session Reports

Canada & US

  • Canada respects privacy more (legislation, type of information asked)
  • Idea of celebrity and privacy,
  • Canadians tend to police themselves and are more trusting
  • Canada is national, US is state by state (and usually have none)
  • Gmail and such are hosted on US servers
  • As an American have your email hosted on a Canadian or European server

Facebook Philosophy

  • Facebook says it’s open and transparent, it’s not just a public relations statement
  • Facebook is a company and they do owe ROI and money to their shareholders
  • Is openness the driver or money?

Three Twitter handles

  • Boundaries are being blurred between what is private and being public, each person has different sides and different “boxes” or sides to our shape
  • Privacy versus reputation management
  • Creating awareness about tools and providing them to the people who need to use them

Disability and privacy online/offline

  • How parents may or may not see their children with disabilities as someone with rights to privacy
  • The way people with disabilities approach privacy is diverse
  • Lack of agency may be seen as oppressive
  • The internet is a powerful double-edged normalizer for people with disabilities
  • Social model vs. medical model on being disabled online
  • Surprise that there are still non-architectural discrimination going on

  • Closed social network that will solve a lot of privacy issues we’ve discussed
  • Who will join the network if everyone is already on Facebook? Who can you target? (Teachers, police officers, doctors, who have a public profile and cannot participate in the invisible public)
  • Create several personas and share accordingly

PrivacyCampTO 2 – Getting to know each other

Liveblogged Melanie Ching | 19 March 2011 | 1 Comment

[10:00 AM]

Gunner is telling us about our hackable agenda, we are welcoming people to participate in the speedgeeking session this afternoon!


  • Appreciate one another.
  • Listen and learn what other folks are doing.
  • Agree to disagree.
  • Be inclusive: un-specialize your jargon.
  • Please go and meet people.

[10:10 AM]

We’re about to walk the line, time to get interactive…so the liveblogging is on pause while I participate. Watch #privTO on Twitter for those of us who are still using our digital devices even though we should be talking to REAL PEOPLE.

[10:55 AM]

Break time! We just finished off our fancy SPECTROGRAM exercise where we made bold statements and moved along a very analog line of tape on the floor. People changed their minds and found allies. We’re back in a bit!

[11:10 AM]

Kate talks a bit about our theme: Privacy for children, youth and people with disabilities. Yee haw!

We’re gonna start writing on some sticky notes to brainstorm what sorts of things our group is interested in talking about. Yay mind map! When in doubt….crank it out!

[11:25 AM]

It is a mosh pit of love and clustering! We are organizing our sticky notes into thematic clusters. We are all being hunters and gatherers of ideas. The grid is born!

Time to party!

Announcements Kate Raynes-Goldie | 11 March 2011 | 0 Comments

In true unconference style, Melanie Ching (with the help of Luc St-Laurent) took it upon herself to organise us a wonderful postcamp social, which will be taking place around 5:30 at Three Brewers Pub (a 5-minute walk from the PrivacyCampTO venue). Thanks to the generous support of Hibe, there will be at least one free round of drinks and snacks!

Thanks guys!

Help create the PrivacyCampTO2 agenda

Announcements Kate Raynes-Goldie | 18 February 2011 | 0 Comments

The awesomeness of unconferences is that they are created collaboratively, so we need your help!

The formal agenda for PrivacyCampTO2 will be created collaboratively, unconference styles, the day of the event. However, we want to give everyone a sense of the topics that will be discussed before the event, so we’ve created a wiki page where you can add what you want to present about, or request someone else talk about.

As with the first PrivacyCampTO, we have two styles, interactive presentation and speed geek.

[Add your topic here!]

Registration now open!

Announcements Kate Raynes-Goldie | 10 February 2011 | 0 Comments

Registration is now open for PrivacyCampTO2!

9am-5pm, March 19, 2010

Rogers Communications Centre @ Ryerson (80 Gould St, 3rd floor – map)

[Register here]

Mark Your Calendars! Announcing PrivacyCampTO 2011

Announcements luke | 24 January 2011 | 2 Comments

PrivacyCampTO is back for a second year! This year, the one-day unconference will focus on children, youth, people with disabilities and privacy. Everyone is welcome: educators, techies, policymakers, students, academics, librarians and anyone else interested in digging into these issues. As an unconference, the day will be planned organically, online, partially in advance and partially live at the event, by all participants.

PrivacyCampTO is generously funded by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the Mozilla Foundation and hosted by EDGE Lab @ Ryerson.

PrivacyCampTO will be taking place from 9-5 on Saturday, March 19 at the Rogers Communications Centre @ Ryerson (80 Gould St, 3rd floor – map)

Registration coming soon! is now available. Follow us on Twitter for updates @privacycampto #pctor

PrivacyCampTO recap

Uncategorized Kate Raynes-Goldie | 24 June 2010 | 0 Comments

Thanks to everyone who came out to PrivacyCampTO to discuss privacy for everyone! The reports on the Twitter #PrivacyCampTO backchannel confirm that there were some lively and excellent discussions and a great diversity of perspectives and opinions. Just what we were hoping for!

Some of the key issues that emerged from the day where:

  • Changing demographic of internet users (everyone) leads to new privacy threats and concerns (privacy as personal safety; privacy as identity control; the relationship between autonomy and privacy)
  • How can we control or negotiate privacy in modern life?
  • Where does paranoia end and good practice begin (and should we have to be paranoid to be safe?)
  • How do we balance the costs and benefits of social media with respect to privacy?

And most importantly:

  • How can we communicate the value of privacy to all?

Some of these issues played out practically during the day. For example, there was a tension between making the event accessible via social media to people who couldn’t make it and sharing the knowledge beyond the event while respecting the varied privacy concerns of participants physically at the event. This, of course, speaks to the issue more broadly of how we can get the benefits of social media without threatening our privacy – if that is at all possible.

In addition to these more theoretical and open questions, we had some practical demos and solutions presented as well:

Another great outcome -  thanks to our excellent liveblogging team of Julianna Yau, Melanie Ching, and Luke Walker – we have an excellent archive of most of the presentations/discussions during the day (note that some posts were done by session, so you may have to scroll down to see the correct notes):

And, again thanks to Melanie, we have a Twitter list of most of the PrivacyCampTO attendees (yes, it was opt-in! :) )

Looking forward, some of the things we want to see next time are:

  • An extended speed geek (it seems to have been quite popular!)
  • A ‘cone of silence’ where laptops, wifi and phones are not allowed so that private discussions can take place
  • A larger demo section
  • More involvement from municipal politicians, activists, entrepreneurs and law enforcement (although I think it might be hard to get consensus on that last one).
  • T-shirts!


Lastly, a big thank you again to everyone who made PrivacyCampTO (and the first unconference I’ve ever organized) possible (Jason Nolan, Alex Bal, Luke Walker, David Fono, Julianna Yau, Sarah Tan, Melanie Ching, Alex Raynes-Goldie, and Colin McKay); to EDGE Lab at Ryerson for hosting us and providing the space, equipment and logistical support and to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada for opening the event, providing the wonderful food (and all important coffee!) and our professional facilitator Nick Longstaff who helped to make the event run smoothly and happily. Our other sponsors and partners also deserve a big thanks:, Atmosphere Industries, Ryerson DMZ, Ryerson’s New Media Program, and Chef’s Catering.

Last but not least, a huge thank you to Shaun Dakin and Joshua Berg at PrivacyCamp/PrivacyCampDC who got this whole movement started and for their feedback and support, especially with getting the word out!

(Questions? Concerns? More Feedback? Come find me on Twitter – @oceanpark)