Professors Amy Salyzyn, Suzanne Bouclin, Jena McGill and Teresa Scassa have been awarded a grant from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, through its Contributions Program, for a research project seeking to protect the privacy interests of users and developers of mobile and web-based legal apps.
The project proposes to create a Privacy Code of Practice for Legal Apps. Most mobile and web-based legal apps provide legal information and advice that help users navigate complex legal processes, creating opportunities for mitigating the financial, psychological, informational, and physical barriers associated with traditional legal services. But how these apps collect and use the personal information of their users gives rise to significant privacy concerns. There is currently no best practice guide to assist legal app developers in addressing and mitigating privacy issues. This project aims to develop detailed policies and practices to assist private app developers in understanding and complying with their privacy obligations, while providing more transparency to members of the public on how their privacy rights and interests are engaged and protected when using legal apps. Professor Salyzyn serves as the primary researcher for this project, with Professors Bouclin, McGill and Scassa joining her as co-researchers.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada funds independent privacy research and related knowledge translation initiatives through its Contributions Program. The goal of the program is to generate new ideas, approaches and knowledge about privacy that organizations can apply to better safeguard personal information and that individual Canadians can use to make more informed decisions about protecting their privacy.