Posted on 01/28/2013, 9:25 am, by

Take control of your information. Don’t let it come back to haunt you: Data Privacy Day raises awareness about the impact technology is having on privacy and promotes the importance of valuing and protecting personal information.

Manitoba Ombudsman is delivering this message in partnership with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada in support of Data Privacy Day, which is marked annually by organizations around the world on January 28.

In Canada, this year’s Data Privacy Day theme is: “Take control of your information. Don’t let it come back to haunt you.”

Some of the steps people can take to control their personal information include:

  • Give out as little personal information as possible. If you are being asked for your birth date, email address, or other details, ask why. Don’t provide it if you don’t have to.
  • Think carefully before posting information about yourself online to avoid regrets later.
  • Know how your personal information will be used. Ask questions and read privacy policies.
  • Ensure your computer has the newest version of your Internet browser; install up-to-date software and virus protection; and make sure your wireless network is secure.
  • Secure mobile devices with hard-to-guess passwords and avoid storing sensitive information on them.
  • Put sensitive paper documents in a shredder – not the recycling bin.

Taking control of personal information is useful advice for individuals, but also for organizations and businesses and that collect personal information. Protecting personal information has much greater value to organizations than simply complying with privacy laws – it helps to develop consumer trust. To assist Manitoba public bodies and trustees in meeting their privacy obligations under FIPPA and PHIA, our office has produced practice notes on various privacy issues.

To help Manitobans understand their privacy rights, Manitoba Ombudsman has developed the following resources:

  • User’s Guide to FIPPA: Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
  • Health Information Access and Privacy: A Guide to the Personal Health Information Act (developed with Manitoba Health)
  • 10 Points to Know about eChart Manitoba: 2012 Update

To mark Data Privacy Day 2013, Manitoba Ombudsman has available:

  • a series of three bilingual posters highlighting this year’s Data Privacy Day theme, produced by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and
  • “ID shields” for contactless credit and debit cards, to protect against identity theft and fraud. For more information on the ID shields, see our article on page 2 of the 2012-4 issue of OmbudsNews.

For posters and ID shields, please contact 204-982-9130, 1-800-665-0531 or