TLDR; 17 Excerpts from the Privacy Commissioner’s Review of Health Canada’s COVID 19 Contact…

TLDR; 15 Excerpts from the Privacy Commissioner’s Review of Health Canada’s COVID 19 Contact Tracing App As a fan of the concept of contact tracing, I have been anxiously expecting an official review by Canada’s Privacy Commissioner (“OPC”). On July 31, the new app launched and with it, the OPC released their findings and recommendations. These …

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On the seductive impulse of following a charismatic leader or a social movement

Google indicates 31,600,000 hits on the unhyphenated phrase WhatsApp switch to Signal. Many of these have popped up in the past week, riding a wave of concern about a Privacy Policy update from Facebook indicating that its WhatsApp data would be accessible to the company that owns it. There is nothing new here, other than …

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The Ugly Side of Remote Learning

Pandemic Excuses Enable School Boards and Edtech Companies to Force Parental Consent for Student Data Collection With the vastly expanded use of remote learning during the Covid-19 pandemic, some school boards are taking the extraordinary step of forcing parents and students to agree to risky data collection practices and privacy-invasive technologies. Months after the start …

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Digital Conservation: Protecting Our Fragile Trust Ecosystem

A Data Privacy Day (#DPD) article filled with metaphors, appropriation and metaphoric appropriation. Happy #DataPrivacyDay or as they call it in Europe, #DataProtectionDay! As a two-bit agitator against ignorance and corruption, I am increasingly concerned about the question of climate. The global digital ecosystem, fickle as it may be, has fostered a climate in which …

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Reviving the Canary

Companies forced to secretly share information about their customers used to rely on the warrant canary mechanism to alert the public of secret requests for information. Is it time to bring them back? Between Amazon’s Ring & Alexa and Google’s Nest and Home, more than a quarter of Canadians are broadcasting from inside and outside their …

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Hey y! How are we doing? Hmm?

“Based on our sharing of your data without consent, will you recommend us?” Bank Spam is the Best Kind of Spam It’s always perplexing when legitimate, unsolicited emails appear to intentionally masquerade as phishing expeditions. It’s even more confusing when banks, the very organizations that claim to understand security intimately, demonstrate precisely what not to do. This …

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The Paradox of Privacy

Or how companies collect and share our information before even asking for it. Let’s get one thing out of the way. You must never, ever, ever surf the Web unprotected. You would not walk into a store if you had to fill out detailed application forms from strangers, so why would you summarily surrender your identity …

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Thinking it Through

Online Forums Need to Think it Through How Spammers Wag The Dog By Exploiting Telus’ New Online Community, the Neighbourhood Imagine you were a spammer looking for your next mark. Would you want to use the same tired old email lists or would you instead prefer to reach fresh new audiences without even having to use …

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Blocking hidden trackers is about privacy, control and respect

Blocking the trackers on this blog By simply reading this page, you may be inadvertently sharing some info with faceless companies (other than Medium.com). What gives? A quick look at some of the gremlins that show up as being blocked in my browser confirms it: DataDogHQ, Optimizely, Parse.ly and Google Analytics are just a few of the …

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How NOT To Notify Your Victims About That Pesky Data Breach

3 Cardinal Rules to Follow When Avoiding Responsibility for Cybersecurity Incidents. First and foremost, let it age for a month after discovery. It is important to appreciate that data breaches get better with age, so give it time before you get around to pen some well turned phrases. That was a bonus tip. It almost goes …

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