Internationally, a wide range of legislation has been developed in order to manage and protect individual’s personal information. Canada’s public and private sector are governed separately in terms of privacy protection.

Young people today spend large amounts of time sharing parts of their personal lives online playing games, “checking in” with geolocation apps, posting photos and catching up with friends through social media. But despite this openness, privacy does indeed matter to youth, especially with their online actions being increasingly monitored by parents, educators, and corporations.

It’s as important for advertisers to reach the right people as it is to make an appealing ad, so they have developed many different ways of targeting ads effectively. Online advertising lets marketers match different ads with individual users. This section looks at how that’s done and how it affects kids’ privacy.

Canada is a highly connected country: 96 percent of us have access to the internet. As technologies have improved to allow corporations, law enforcement and others to gather information and monitor activities online, media reports about violations or breaches of privacy are more and more frequent.

Thanks to the networked nature of the internet, in which information is always flowing both ways, there's no shortage of ways for apps, devices and websites to collect information about us.

Contrary to stereotypes, youth do care about their privacy.

"Given the opportunity, young people do care about issues relating to the harnessing and use of their information online. They want to know what information is being taken from them, and why. They want companies to be more open about how data is being used."

Sociologist and surveillance scholar David Lyon defines surveillance as “any collection and processing of personal data, whether identifiable or not, for the purposes of influencing or managing those whose data have been garnered.”