On Tuesday, parents and family members of victims of cyberbullying met in a panel to discuss Bill C-13. Provisions of this bill would make it easier for the government to access data from telecommunication and Internet service companies. The bill is intended to enable the police to respond more effectively to crimes using modern technology.
Carol Todd, the mother of a teen who took her own life after she was sexually exploited online, spoke out against this proposed cyberbullying bill. She believes portions of Bill C-13 that could risk privacy rights should be distinguished from the focus on safety.
“We should not have to choose between our privacy and our safety,” Todd stated at the panel. “We should not have to sacrifice our children’s privacy rights to make them safe from cyberbullying, ‘sextortion,’ and revenge pornography.”
On the other hand, Glenford Canning, the father of another cyberbullied victim, told the House of Commons committee that the bill should be passed despite concerns about privacy.
“Our children’s rights and privacy is already being violated — violated by some of the sickest people you can imagine. If it’s a choice between them and the police i’m siding with the police.” Canning said.
Parents concerned with privacy rights are troubled by the thought that this bill could cause further victimization. Some of the provisions included the sharing of privacy information without proper legal process, as Todd pointed out.