Online Reputation: Submission to Office of Privacy Commissioner of Canada Regarding its Draft Position

HALCO and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network submitted joint comments in response to the call for comments by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) on its Draft Position on Online Reputation (“Position Paper”).

The rapid proliferation of personal information online has resulted in a new social landscape yet we lack adequate control to protect ourselves from the risk of judgment from information posted online. A search of an individual’s name in a search engine is commonly sought out or stumbled upon by would-be employers, landlords, colleagues and friends, among others. HALCO is concerned that stigmatized information such as HIV status might become readily available and used to judge someone.

As noted in the Position Paper: “information, once posted online, gains characteristics that affect reputation – it can easily be distorted, is persistent and can be extremely difficult to remove.” The joint HALCO/Legal Network submissions support individuals’ right to have some control of personal information on the internet, particularly if the information creates a risk of harm or risk of unfair treatment.

You can read the submissions on our website:

If you are living with HIV in Ontario and have concerns about privacy or other legal issues, please contact us for free legal advice:


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