Are you one of the tens of thousands of people whose sensitive financial information was compromised this past week via the hacks at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and the Bank of Montreal? Former Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian, fresh off an excellent address at last week's IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium, was quoted as being shocked that the banks were infiltrated to such an extent. I echo that sentiment. It is pretty surprising that these large financial institutions couldn’t prevent such an awful attack.
In a sense, it’s the modern-day bank heist — the things movies are made of. For me, it rattles to an extent the trust I had in our banking system. The stories that have emerged of missing money, frozen accounts, and the ease at which ID theft can now occur are disturbing, to say the least.
On the heels of our very successful Symposium, we were already at work planning next year’s event, and one of the questions that came up involved just how much larger the event will be next May: We saw the conference grow by almost 200 people this past year. Will stories like the most recent banking hack continue to drive awareness of privacy issues? Are we going to be seeing even more widespread recognition that privacy in today’s society is a fundamental value that is truly at risk?
Related is the fact that Nov. 1 marks the date by which the data breach notification regime officially kicks into gear through the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. Will this legislative change have a significant effect on people’s awareness? I can only imagine what might transpire, but one thing is for sure: There is never a shortage of privacy-related news stories to keep us interested.
So, pour that coffee and catch up.
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