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Canada Dashboard Digest | Notes from the IAPP Canada Managing Director, August 2, 2019 Related reading: Notes from the IAPP Canada Managing Director, Sept. 20, 2019

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Data breach. Data breach. Data breach. Are you tired of reading about this issue in the privacy news? Well, we’ve got another dose for you this week.

The highest-profile case is the Capital One breach that has exposed the sensitive personal information of millions of Canadians. It was just a couple of weeks ago that the Desjardins breach stole headlines — and even garnered a Parliamentary hearing. I wonder if the same politicians will rally this time around (but I’m not holding my breath considering we’re in full summer mode around Ottawa these days).

Between these two big breaches, the sensitive financial information of millions of Canadians has found its way onto the black market. I feel something more meaningful must happen for these types of large-scale breaches to stop. Or, are we simply doomed to live with the constant threat that our identities and financial well-being are at risk?

On the other end of the breach spectrum is a story about a British Columbia tour company that dumped the sensitive personal information of potentially thousands of people into a recycling bin. Yes, these kinds of breaches, the ones we heard a lot about in the earlier days, are still happening, too. While the Capital Ones of the world have these massive infrastructures to repel against the loss of personal information — and still fail — the B.C. breach shows that what is just as scary is that many small- or medium-sized businesses simply don’t know any better.

When trying to come up with a solution to this massive problem, all I can reiterate is that we need better laws, and, just as importantly, we need more awareness and training. In this day and age, it’s simply not good enough to say, “Oops, it was a mistake.” Even mistakes aren’t really mistakes — they are important educational and procedural failures of some kind. 

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