Hive Toronto Privacy Badge

Hive Toronto received a grant from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to create curriculum and to prototype Open Badges to enhance privacy education for teens in Canada. This project was conducted as a participatory design research project with teens, and it underwent ethical review at the University of Toronto. Co-design workshops were held with teens between October 2014 and February 2015. Interviews were conducted with educators. We also held an educators’ workshop to share the project results on February 21st, 2015.


The curriculum

The project team, including 8 teen peer researchers, created 10 prototype-level badges and associated learning activities. The badges explore themes like personal information and privacy futures. The curriculum and prototype-level Open Badges from this project are available for use and remix in learning settings such as libraries, after-school programs, and the civic and legal education sector. All badge designs and curriculum resources that were created are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-4.0 International License. To get started with the curriculum, please visit one of the following pages:


If you’re interested in implementing the badges in your organization, the badge images and metadata are available on GitHub.

Teen peer researchers

Teens ages 15-19 were recruited to co-design the curriculum and Open Badge prototypes that are central to this project. Participation by teens involved attending workshops to generate ideas for the badges concepts and to try out learning activities.

The teen peer research team

  • Annie
  • Andrea
  • Hamza
  • James
  • Jarsmeka
  • Sarth
  • Tia
  • Yasmine

Thank you to the teen peer researchers fro their contributions to the project! 

Key project materials

Blog posts and related resources

A series of project blog posts were created to archive the project’s progress. Blog posts explore:

Prototypes of the badge system are explored through blog posts on Understanding personal information: The Anonymizer badge, It’s 2015, do you know where your data are? The Data Trail Badge, and Prototyping open privacy badges.

Video remixes are shared within the posts on prototyping and workshops.

Recruitment documents

The youth recruitment documents from this project included:

Badges as buttons

Knowledge mobilization resources

Knowledge mobilization for this project included outreach to scholarly and practitioner communities. A presentation at the Association for Media Literacy conference was completed in the fall of 2014, which utilized a prototype version of the Anonymizer badge.  A presentation was also conducted at The Future of Networked Privacy workshop the Computer Supported Cooperative Work conference in Vancouver in spring 2015 and a workshop paper title Production, Play and Remix: Building Networked Privacy Through Remix was accepted for presentation following a peer review process.  Presentations are also planned for Hive Toronto and the Union for Democratic Communication conference.

The final project report available for download: Co-Designing Open Badges for Privacy Education with Canadian Youth.

The open privacy badges research team (staff)

  • Dr. Karen Louise Smith, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto*
  • Dr. Leslie Shade, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto*
  • Dr. Tamara Shepherd, Fellow in the Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics
  • Dr. Doug Belshaw, Web Literacy Lead, Mozilla Foundation
  • Colin Lacey, Hive Toronto*
  • Ashley Jane Lewis, Hive Toronto

The project teams marked with asterisks worked with the teens.


If you have any questions about this project you can contact or call 416-458-6641.


This project has been funded by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC); the views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the OPC.

Lead Organization:
Hive Toronto

Project Goal:
To prototype open badges to enhance privacy education for teens in Canada

Project Tags:
2014 CCP, Media Literacy & Production, Open Badges, Privacy

Project Portfolio