Risks to your privacy come in many forms. In the private sector, organizations might fail to protect your personal information; your personal information can be exposed when you are online; or you could be under surveillance in the course of your daily activities. Privacy incursions by the public sector can be more insidious: in the name of improved security measures, your privacy rights can be curtailed by new laws and policies. 

The harm that can result from a privacy breach can range from a mere annoyance – for example, too many emails in your inbox – to criminal activities such as identity theft or even violence. 

New laws and government policies that limit our privacy present real threats to our fundamental rights and freedoms and allow the government to create dossiers of information about its own citizens. 

This section is divided into three parts:

  1. Identity Theft – we discuss what identity theft is, why it is on the rise, and what you can do to protect yourself from it. 
  2. Private Sector Issues – we focus on the internet and online privacy risks, and on surveillance. 
  3. Public Sector Issues – we examine the threats to our privacy rights posed by new governmental policies and new laws designed to enable more collection, and broader uses and disclosures of personal information by governmental authorities. 

At the end of this section we provide some resources for dealing with a privacy breach.