Protecting Your Privacy Online
Many people think of online privacy as little more than protecting their personal information. Indeed, a steady stream of privacy breaches, such as those at Equifax and Facebook, have exposed the sensitive financial and personal data of tens of millions of people. But in reality, privacy is a much broader concept.
Privacy is essential for freedom, autonomy and self-determination. It is the ability to make your own choices, free of undue influence and coercion. Privacy allows us to grow as people, and to grow as a society. Online privacy is particularly critical for members of minority, underprivileged or otherwise marginalized communities and their allies. It helps protect them from being targeted for surveillance, harassment or worse.
Dr. Ian Goldberg, Canada Research Chair in Privacy Enhancing Technologies, is developing privacy-enhancing technologies—or PETs—that allow people to protect their privacy online. His research spans all aspects of these technologies, from the foundational mathematical and cryptographic techniques that make PETs possible to the design of new privacy-protective systems to the creation and deployment of PETs across the globe.
The kinds of PETs Goldberg and his research team develop can help billions of people worldwide. Examples include a chat app to allow you to communicate privately with friends, a web browser that protects your identity and location, or a system to allow people to access free and open information online even in countries where the Internet is censored. Ultimately, these tools will give people everywhere better control over their personal information.