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Personal Control and Freedom Are Essential to Preserving Privacy in an Online World of Growing Surveillance

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - May 08, 2014) - Individuals are beginning to lose effective control over their personal information in this era of ubiquitous mobile, social and cloud computing. The future of digital privacy may depend on changing the current online paradigm from "Use At Your Own Risk" to "My Data, My Rules" by providing individuals with greater control over their personal information. To explain how information systems may be engineered to enable privacy and control automatically -- by default, Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, and Absio Corporation President and CEO, Dan Kruger have released a new white paper, Freedom and Control: Engineering a New Paradigm in the Digital World.

Market demand for personal control is high and increasing daily. It is driven by an emerging surveillance infrastructure, the loss and misuse of personal information by governments and businesses, an eroding trust of individuals in data custodians, and above all, the powerful human desire for freedom, autonomy, and privacy. Smart innovators will take the lead in their industries by delivering whatever aspect of control their customers want. This cannot be done by weakening traditional Fair Information Practice Principles. Rather, it will only be accomplished through the robust implementation of technology-assisted models that will enhance individuals' capabilities to control access to and distribution of their information.

"Too many individuals and organizations are resigned to large-scale computer-based surveillance, invasion, and expropriation, because they believe complete user-control is too complex for the individual. This belief is reminiscent of the arguments of the telegraph industry many years ago," said Commissioner Cavoukian. "Telegraph companies claimed that telephone companies were a novelty as people simply couldn't manage their own communications for themselves! Apparently, the resistance to progress by some has not really changed."

The paper examines the seven key problems with the control of digital information and offers user-centric, privacy-enhancing solutions, to create an intelligent digital object ecosystem which will:

  • Enable personal data itself to become "smarter" and more context-aware;
  • Ensure more secure and trusted personal devices, to act as intermediaries and servants;
  • Develop trusted agents in the cloud capable of brokering and monitoring transactions on behalf of the individual; and
  • Create a class of third party services held to the highest standards of accountability and trust.

"We have been making the same mistake that we always make with technology -- assuming that this time the technology is static and that tomorrow will be like today," said Dan Kruger, President of Absio Corporation. "The fundamental changes brought about by personal computing were a major surprise. Ten years later, the Internet changed almost every aspect of human commerce -- and many were caught napping. In the last ten years mobile computing upset the apple cart again. What's the next big change? Ordinary people and institutions regaining control of their data. This change is big, disruptive, filled with opportunity, and inevitable."

Commissioner Cavoukian and Dan Kruger will introduce the new paper during their presentation "The Unintended Consequences of Privacy Paternalism" at IAPP Canada's 2014 Privacy Symposium this Friday.

About the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

The Information and Privacy Commissioner is appointed by, and reports to, the Ontario Legislative Assembly, and is independent of the government of the day. The Commissioner's mandate includes overseeing the access and privacy provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, as well as the Personal Health Information Protection Act, which applies to both public and private sector health information custodians. The Commissioner's mandate also includes helping to educate the public about access and privacy issues.

About Absio Corporation

Absio Corporation is a software platform and applications provider that is pioneering new ways to secure and control digital information. Data makes up your digital world. Your data includes your digital identity, relationships, behavior, communications and content. Absio solutions empower individuals and organizations to retain ownership and control of digital property regardless of where, how, or to whom it is distributed. Your data, your rules™. For additional information, please visit www.absio.com.

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Kristy Matteson
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