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)

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