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Privacy Laws in Canada: Concerns Over Websites and Apps

Privacy Laws in Canada: Concerns Over Websites and Apps
Privacy Laws in Canada: Concerns Over Websites and Apps

Gatineau, Que. –

According to Canada’s Privacy Commissioner, a study of websites and mobile apps has found that deceptive design patterns that make it difficult for people to protect their privacy are not only prevalent but often worse on websites and mobile apps targeted to children.

The conclusions are based on a survey the commission conducted earlier this year of more than 1,000 websites and mobile apps, together with 25 privacy enforcement authorities from Canada and around the world.

The global report found that 97 percent of websites and apps examined use one or more deceptive design patterns that could encourage people to reveal more of their personal information online.

The report also found that more than 89 percent of privacy policies were lengthy or used complicated, academic language.

The commission said users can better protect their privacy by emphasizing privacy options, using neutral language, presenting choices clearly, and reducing the number of times a user must click to find information, log out, or delete an account.

According to privacy commissioner Philippe Dufresne, websites and apps should be designed with privacy in mind. That means setting default settings to ensure privacy and making private data easy to find.

“Integrating privacy by design and privacy by default helps promote the best interests of individuals and builds trust by providing individuals with online experiences that are free from influence, manipulation, and coercion,” Dufresne said in a statement.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 9, 2024.