Canada briefs – August 28

The federal privacy commissioner has agreed to give Facebook one year to make the “complex” technical changes required to protect user privacy on its popular social networking site.

Facebook agrees to privacy changes, has one year to implement them

OTTAWA — The federal privacy commissioner has agreed to give Facebook one year to make the “complex” technical changes required to protect user privacy on its popular social networking site.

But a significant part of the deal hammered out between the office of commissioner Jennifer Stoddart and Facebook Inc. is less a technical challenge than a behavioural one.

“All of these users will have a far clearer picture of how their personal information is being shared once Facebook implements our recommendations,” Stoddart said.

“They will also have far more control over what they are sharing and with whom.”

While the changes are being enforced under Canada’s privacy law, Stoddart noted “Facebook has said to us this is a global change,” to its operations.

That means the Canadian ruling will improve the privacy of some 200 million-plus Facebook users.


Stranded man may come home

A young, autistic Canadian man who has been stranded in Kenya for three years may soon be headed home.

But Passport Canada has told the man’s mother that inconsistencies remain about the identity of Abdihakim Mohammed.

It means Mohammed will only be issued an emergency travel document rather than a true passport.

Lawyer Jean Lash, who is representing Mohammed’s mother Anab Issa, says the case has been frustrating, especially since friends and family of Mohammed have given Passport Canada no less than six affidavits attesting to his identity.

“They say that there are still discrepancies, but they won’t tell me or can’t tell me what these discrepancies are,” said Lash.

It could also be a month or more before Mohammed returns to Canada, because his low-income mother insists on going to Kenya to retrieve him and is raising the money needed for the flights on her own.

Mohammed, an autistic 25-year-old Somali-Canadian, was taken to Somalia five years ago by his mother when doctors recommended he be near extended family.

But when Issa tried to bring him back to Canada through Kenya three years ago, she was told her son didn’t look like his passport photo.

Mohammed’s is just one of numerous cases coming to light recently of Canadians left stranded in other countries or unable to obtain passports for travel abroad because of questions surrounding their identities.

A Commons committee heard tearful pleas Wednesday from a Canadian woman who was also stranded for months in Kenya, accused of being an impostor.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

David Eggen, the NDP’s advanced education critic, said the UCP government has been focused on cutting funding to post-secondary institutions across Alberta. (Contributed photo)
NDP worry new status for Red Deer College doesn’t mean more funding

This week the province announced that RDC will become a polytechnic institute

(Black Press file photo.)
Olds College to welcome students with developmental disabilities

Students with developmental disabilities will soon be able to study at Olds… Continue reading

Hairdresser Frankie Genereaux applies some foils to Ellen Walker’s hair on Thursday at Abbey Road Hair Studio in Red Deer. Most salons have run out of appointments as clients seek to get in before a three-week temporary closure order takes effect on Sunday. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Third temporary closure order frustrates Red Deer hair salons

It’s hard on small business, says an owner

Innisfail mayoral candidate Glen Carritt posted an election sign last month that raised hackles among some. Town council is looking at tightening up its regulations so that election signs cannot be planted more than 45 days before the Oct. 18 election. Photo from Glen Carritt’s Facebook page
Innisfail beefs up election sign regulations

Bylaw prompted by complaints signs for October municipal election already going up

The SuperHEROS program was born in 2018 and will arrive in central Alberta in the fall, giving kids with physical and cognitive challenges a chance to participate in a modified hockey program. (Photo courtesy of HEROS Hockey)
Kids with disbilities can play hockey: SuperHEROS program to arrive in central Alberta

Program provides hockey opportunities for kids with physical and cognitive challenges

Nicholas Marcus Thompson is shown in Toronto on Thursday April 29, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Action needed to end anti-Black racism in public service: advocates

OTTAWA — The federal government must address anti-Black racism in the public… Continue reading

Victoria Police help BC conservation officers carry a cougar which was tranquilized in the backyard of an apartment building in the community of James Bay in Victoria, B.C., Monday, October 5, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Cougar believed to be responsible for B.C. attack killed: conservation service

AGASSIZ, B.C. — The British Columbia Conservation Officer Service says it believes… Continue reading

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hospital investigating whether woman who died after AstraZeneca shot was turned away

EDMONTON — Officials with an Edmonton hospital say they’re investigating what happened… Continue reading

A sign is seen at a walk-in COVID-19 in Montreal on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
NACI chair says advice not meant to give AstraZeneca recipients vaccine remorse

OTTAWA — The chair of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization says… Continue reading

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals pressed to ease access to EI parental leave to help unemployed moms

OTTAWA — The federal government is being asked to give new and… Continue reading

An oil worker holds raw sand bitumen near Fort McMurray, Alta., on July 9, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta eases security payment burden for oilsands companies

EDMONTON — Alberta is changing how it calculates the payments oilsands mines… Continue reading

Most Read