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January 2015

January 28 is Data Privacy Day

January 28, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)

Data Privacy Day January 28


I can assure you that our concern for protecting personal information is very deep seated




Once again, we are barely into another year when (International) Data Privacy Day comes around again on another January 28. Data Privacy Day began in January 2008 in Canada and the United States as an extension of the Data Protection Day in Europe, dating back to Convention 108 signed on January 28, 1981 as the first legally-binding international treaty dealing with data protection and privacy issues. Data Privacy Day is now a global event.

The Internet has facilitated the free flow of information in today’s world. Both individuals and organizations need to be protective of personal information entrusted to them by practicing good data stewardship, and encouraging and educating people to protect their privacy and manage their digital footprint. The National Cyber Security Alliance, a non-profit public-private partnership, operates the website as a source for those wanting to stay safe online, teach online safety, keep their business safe online, and get involved. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada under Commissioner Daniel Therrien released the 2014 Survey of Canadians on Privacy that asked more than 1,500 Canadians what they thought about privacy issues. The survey found that nine in 10 Canadians were concerned about their privacy, while 34% of Canadians expressed extreme concern about their privacy, an increase from 25% in the 2012 Survey of Canadians on Privacy-Related Issues .

In the 2014 survey, 78% of Canadians were concerned how online personal information about themselves might be used in terms of government surveillance, while 57% of Canadians surveyed were uncomfortable with government sources requesting personal information from telecommunications companies without a warrant. 49% of surveyed Canadians expressed extreme concern about the security of personal information on a lost or stolen mobile device. Almost 30% of Canadians reported being adversely affected by a security breach, whether it was misuse of a credit or debit card, access of personal information on a lost or stolen mobile device, or even identity theft. With mobile device use, 77% of Canadians reported using a password lock on their device, an increase from 39% in 2011, while 72% of Canadians reported changing their device settings to limit information sharing, up from 40% in 2011. 58% of Canadians opted to turn off location tracking on their devices to protect privacy, up from 38% in 2012. 75% reported that they did not install an app on their devices, owing to concerns about requested personal information, an increase from 55% in 2011. 78% of Canadians reported being less willing to share information in light of sensitive information being made public, stolen, or lost, while 77% had refused to provide information to an organization at some point. 81% of Canadians reported doing business with a company with a good reputation on privacy matters.


There is some degree of debate as to how much responsibility for managing online privacy should rest with the individual. Some such as Avner Levin of Ryerson University’s Privacy and Cyber Crime Institute have called for increased powers in the role of Canada’s federal privacy commissioner, echoing the recommendations made by former federal privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart herself in 2011, that would allow the privacy commissioner to examine how companies handle personal data without the need of an initial complaint.

So what can individuals do to protect themselves online? Technology journalist Dan Misener of the CBC Radio program Spark suggested reviewing the privacy settings of social networks used, removing unused apps, and seeking information from the Canadian Access to Social Media Information Project (CATSMI), using himself and his accounts as examples. Media professor Sidneyeve Matrix of Queen’s University offered some suggestions for protecting one’s digital footprint gleaned from a variety of sources, including:


Consider the following titles for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:




They Know Everything about You How Data Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy More awesome than money four boys and their heroic quest to save your privacy from Facebook Privacy in the age of big data recognizing threats defending your rights and protecting your family The naked future what happens in a world that anticipates your every move

Technocreep the surrender of privacy and the capitalization of intimacy Transparent lives surveillance in Canada Talking back to Facebook the common sense guide to raising kids in the digital age

Popular mechanics who's spying on you the looming threat to your privacy, identity, and family in the digital age Internet and surveillance the challenges of Web 2.0 and social media Cyber warfare techniques tactics and tools for security practitioners

Nothing to hide the false tradeoff between privacy and security Data data everywhere access and accountability

Snapshots in History: January 24: Remembering the first Macintosh Computer

January 24, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)





On January 24 and beyond, take a moment to remember the sales introduction of Apple Inc.’s first Macintosh (Mac) personal computer, the Apple Macintosh, or alternatively known as the Macintosh 128K on January 24, 1984, where Steve Jobs revealed the tall rectangular computer with a device attached called a computer mouse and the ability to insert a 3.5 inch floppy diskette into the computer.  The “1984” television commercial aired on January 22, 1984 during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII. Steve Jobs set the stage at an Apple Inc. sales meeting in October 1983 when he described the tough competition between Apple Inc. and IBM and showed the “1984” advertisement to Apple Inc. employees. On October 23, 1983, Steve Jobs discussed the launch of Apple’s Macintosh 128K launch by presenting its main competitor, IBM, in a negative light by criticizing IBM for passing up opportunities to develop mini- (read: personal) computers as opposed to large, mainframe computers. According to Jobs, IBM (International Business Machines Corporation) missed out on an opportunity to buy Xerography in 1958 (that became Xerox in 1960), and allowed other companies such as Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) to work on developing mini-computers in the late 1960s/early 1970s that became a large consumer market before IBM entered the fray. Jobs said that IBM saw mini-computers as too small to be taken seriously and insignificant to their overall business situation. Framing the story as history repeating itself, Steve Jobs then told the audience about Apple Inc.’s introduction of the Apple II, a personal computer, in 1977 which IBM dismissed as too small to be taken seriously and too insignificant to their business prospects.  Now fast forward to 1984 in his story (as a prelude to the January 24, 1984 launch itself) when Steve Jobs set the stage for a competition between Apple and IBM in Orwellian terms (i.e. George Orwell’s novel “1984”) where IBM was presented as the villain company striving to dominate the computer industry. Remember that IBM had introduced IBM Personal Computer XT in 1983 that came with 128K of RAM, a 360K doubled-sided 5.25-inch floppy disk drive, and a 10MB hard drive.

That was then – this is now. Apple Inc.’s Macintosh computers have achieved a loyal following from a segment of the computer-using public. Keeping this in mind, Toronto Public Library offers a variety of titles for borrowing on the subject of Macintosh computers, including the following:




IPhoto the missing manual the book that should have been in the box IWork portable genius Macs all-in-one for dummies 4th edition

MacBook for dummies My iMovie OS X® Mavericks portable genius Switching to the Mac the missing manual

Teach yourself visually complete Mac Pro Teach yourself visually MacBook Air Teach yourself visually MacBook Pro 2nd edition



Macs all-in-one for dummies 4th edition OS X® Mavericks portable genius Switching to the Mac the missing manual

Teach yourself visually complete Mac Pro Teach yourself visually MacBook Air

New Year's Resolutions

January 5, 2015 | Maria Samurin | Comments (4)

2015 Resolutions

In December, we invited anyone visiting the Albert Campbell Branch write down their New Year's resolutions. At the end of the year, we took all the resolutions and put together a "2015!" banner (pictured above).

Whether you're like me and make a list of resolutions every year, or you have one or two that you came up with on the fly, I really hope you stick to your resolutions and make them come true.

If you need some inspiration, or a little help along the way, I've put together a list of popular resolutions and books that can help you make them happen.


1. Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

Please don't laugh... keeping New Year's resolutions is a real challenge! We greet each year with hope—tell ourselves that this time it's going to be different—and with the right tools, it can be. That's right! This is your year and these self-help guides can give you the tools you need to make it the best year it can be.

 No excuses This year Changeology Power of habit

2. Lose Weight, Work Out, Get Fit

I think almost everyone has had this resolution at some point in their life. Here are a few books to get you started... and remember, you're not alone!

  Food Junkies Burnthefat Shape Nordic

3. Be Happy

Who doesn't want to be happy? Here are a few helpful tips!

  Happiness  Healthy  Art of happiness  Habits

4. Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is hard, but it's not impossible, and there are many resources out there that can help.

 Smoke1 Smoke2 Smoke3 Smoke4 

5. Learn Something New -or- 6. Make New Friends

If you're looking to make new friends or learn something new this year, why not give one of our library programs a shot:

  • Did you know that the library has many free computer classes open to the public? Everyone is welcome, including friends and relatives, and those who have never used a computer. Just be sure to register.
  • You can also drop by our Wednesday Knit Night! You'll learn the basics or practice some advanced techniques. We even provide some supplies if you don't have your own.
  • Always wanted to write a novel? Maybe it's even on your list of resolutions? You can join our writers' group for inspiration and to share your work in an informal, supportive environment. Plus, you'll get to meet other writers and enthusiasts of all genres.

Here is a comprehensive list of all of our library programs to help you find one that's right for you.

7. Get Out of Debt & Save Money

 These books were all written by experts that can help you get out of debt and start saving money (well, except for one, but I always like to think outside the box):

  School Rrsp Money Cat 

8. Travel and Explore New Places

This is always my favorite resolution! Studies have shown that simply planning and looking forward to a vacation will give you a major boost in happiness - even if you never end up going. It's the one resolution that you can fail to stick to and still feel good about!

Hawaii  Costa rica  France Thailand

I hope I've given you a good place to start. If you need additional help with your resolutions, call or visit Albert Campbell Branch. Our librarians can suggest plenty of books, ebooks, audiobooks, videos, library programs and other resources to help you succeed with your New Year's resolutions.

Wish you all the best in 2015.

The Albert Campbell District Blog is an online resource and place where you can access information related to the Albert Campbell, Eglinton Square, McGregor Park, and Kennedy Eglinton branches. It will feature reading recommendations, information on new titles and resources in the branches, special events and programs, as well as other information of interest to you. We encourage you to make this blog an interactive space by replying and commenting on posts and by subscribing to the RSS feature which allows you to receive blog updates without having to search for them.