Canada Privacy

Watching the Watchdog: Famed Surveillance Watchdog Warns Canada

Tim Knight | Posted 11.25.2013 | Canada Politics
Tim Knight

William Binney is a man on a mission. He spent nearly 30 years as a top executive in America's super-secret National Security Agency (NSA), now he wants you to know that same spy agency is pushing western democracies -- including Canada -- toward fascism.

Just Because I Value Privacy Doesn't Mean I Have Something to Hide

Nishaan Sharma | Posted 10.27.2013 | Canada
Nishaan Sharma

I have yet to come across a single interview or editorial that discusses the importance of privacy. This leads to the rather selfish claim that "I have nothing to hide" -- the implication being that anyone who champions privacy does have something to hide. What privacy allows us is a private space to conduct our affairs outside the line of sight of the other; it is a blanket on a stormy night, under which we hide ourselves. Its relationship with the storm is only incidental. If we want a society of men and women rather than a flock of livestock we must allow for them a bubble of solitude in which to conduct some of their affairs. We must not forget the value of privacy.

A BC Service Card Offer We Can't Refuse?

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 10.26.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

The province's new ID card, known as the BC Services Card, began rolling out earlier this year. At present, it combines both drivers licence and provincial health care card. Given the hundreds of millions of dollars the government has spent on other high-profile IT projects that failed miserably -- including BCeSIS, Integrated Case Management -- the provincial government has real reason to be concerned about what citizens think of their latest project.

A Top 10 To Do List for Keeping Canada's Internet Open

David Christopher | Posted 10.18.2013 | Canada Business
David Christopher

Ensuring Canada has an accessible, affordable, surveillance-free, and open Internet is essential for our economy, culture, and global competitiveness. Minister James Moore has the power to take on Canada's entrenched Big Telecom giants. Here are 10 actions Minister Moore should take to leave a lasting positive legacy for Canadian Internet users.

How Can We Take Shelter From "The Cloud"?

Catherine Hart | Posted 09.10.2013 | Canada Business
Catherine Hart

As more and more of our personal information circulates online, is stored in the cloud, or is moved about on USBs and other portable devices, it's essential that we make sure those data flows are secure. While governments have been quick to respond to this increased ability to conduct surveillance, they have not been so enthusiastic about creating and enforcing protections for innocent citizens.

NSA Whistleblowers Have Been Sounding the Alarm for a Decade

Catherine Hart | Posted 09.03.2013 | Canada Politics
Catherine Hart

The U.S. National Security Agency has been in hot water for the last few weeks, as whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed a massive online spying system that has been vacuuming up huge amounts of communications data from U.S. and foreign citizens. But Snowden is far from the first whistleblower.

Criminal or Not, Edward Snowden Did the Right Thing

Justin Beach | Posted 08.26.2013 | Canada Politics
Justin Beach

Whether he committed a crime or not, Edward Snowden did the U.S. and the world a big favour by revealing the extent of U.S. spying. The NSA and PRISM are both not only un-American but go against the very spirit and nature of western democracy.

Edward Snowden Is No Hero

Ike Awgu | Posted 08.23.2013 | Canada Politics
Ike Awgu

When did Americans decide to appoint Edward Snowden vanguard of their privacy and safety? Snowden has done more than tell his countrymen about their government listening to a few phone calls; he has gone abroad and given the information to foreign governments.

How Soon Before We're Dependent on Google Glass?

Samuel Mosonyi | Posted 08.20.2013 | Canada Business
Samuel Mosonyi

For those consumers already feeling overwhelmed and distracted by the constant notifications which come with a smartphone, Google Glass is probably not the best choice. We have arguably developed a dependence towards smartphones. Before consumers become dependent on Glass, they should seriously consider the implications before making their decision. In a society where relying on the mind for information and computation becomes less important due to the proliferation of mobile computers that can do the work for us, Glass may further exacerbate the dependence on technology to access information.

U.S. Envoy: Relax, We're Not Spying On Canadians

CP | Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press | Posted 08.17.2013 | Canada Politics

OTTAWA - In his nearly four years as Barack Obama's envoy to Canada, David Jacobson has always stressed his desire to bring Americans and Canadians cl...

How Honest Is Your Online Persona?

Tikva Hecht | Posted 07.29.2013 | Canada Living
Tikva Hecht

Last week, the popular online dating site, Plenty of Fish, announced new features to try to weed out fake profiles. Whether you're for or against the gesture, it's difficult to think of the update as anything but that. We have become a society immersed in mass habitual tinkering in the gap between who we are and who we present ourselves to be, always at work on our personal "brand."

Stop The Ministerial Spin Cycle for a Better B.C. Government

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 07.20.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

Since 2009, the Liberals have shuffled ministers in and out of the Ministers of Citizens' Services and Open Government role so quickly that there's hardly been a chance to make any meaningful progress.

Privacy Regulators and the Media Can Make a Bad Data Breach Worse

Larry Keating | Posted 07.16.2013 | Canada Business
Larry Keating

Privacy Commissioners, rightfully, seem more incensed than ever when yet another loss of personal information occurs. Whether it's a server breach fr...

B.C. Election 2013: What The Parties Plan To Tell You

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 07.02.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

The B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, sent all four parties a questionnaire pushing them for clear positions on how they would stop the erosion of our privacy rights and defend our access to government records through Freedom of Information. On April 30th, we received responses from the NDP, the Liberals, and the Greens (we've yet to hear back from the Conservatives). They all had interesting, if decidedly different things to say.

The Bill Turning Websites in to Government Spies

Catherine Hart | Posted 06.30.2013 | Canada Politics
Catherine Hart

CISPA -- which on the surface is meant to allow for voluntary information sharing between private companies and the government in the event of a cyber attack -- is a surveillance bill that is dangerously lacking in transparency and oversight. This would turn websites into government spies.

Where's The Integrity?

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 06.25.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

Information issues were smoking hot right up to the drop of the writ. But ever since, they've received hardly a mention. Looks like nobody wants to talk about the government's increasing unwillingness to create written records or its habit of sheltering public documents from FOI by hiding them in personal email accounts. Even multi-million dollar data linkage and information management programs like the Integrated Case Management (ICM) system, which has been slammed repeatedly by officers of the Legislature and civil society alike, don't rate a mention from the four major parties. This is pathetic.

Althia Raj

Private Data Of A Million Canadians Possibly Breached

HuffingtonPost.com | Althia Raj | Posted 04.23.2013 | Canada Politics

OTTAWA — More than a million Canadians may have had their private information compromised by data breaches within the federal government over the l...

We Have Some Trust Issues

CP | Michael Oliveira, The Canadian Press | Posted 06.04.2013 | Canada Business

A newly released poll suggests Canadians overwhelmingly believe their private information is more at risk today than it was a decade ago and that the ...

Teaching Our Kids Not to Treat the Internet as a Private Diary

Hessie Jones | Posted 05.22.2013 | Canada Living
Hessie Jones

I get that kids need an outlet to vent. I get that kids need to be with others who understand what they're going through. But this world of social has created an environment that eventually strings them along a path to a point where the very information they created can be their greatest demise.

Why Can't Victoria Police Be More Like Ottawa's Force?

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 03.27.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

Apparently the illegal scanning of licence plates by Victoria police will continue until fixes are implemented. Unlike their counterparts in Saanich and Ottawa, Victoria police have no intention of switching off the cameras during privacy compliance upgrades.

Happy Royal News Turns Into Macabre State Of Affairs

Shachi Kurl | Posted 02.06.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Shachi Kurl

What a mess. It was inevitable that Kate's pregnancy would have given birth to breathless media coverage and celebration whenever it was divulged. It should have been happy, frothy, celebrity news. Instead, a woman going through a very rough, early pregnancy goes to hospital and the whole world knows about it. A nurse, fooled by broadcasters, mistakenly transfers a call that should have been hung up on, and is found dead days later. It is a sad, macabre state of affairs.

Is Veterans Affairs Canada Targeting This Family?

Jeff Rose-Martland | Posted 11.23.2012 | Canada
Jeff Rose-Martland

Retired Corporal Dennis Manuge is the driving force behind the SISIP class action lawsuit over pension clawbacks. Last year, Manuge revealed that, in 2009, the Minister of Veterans Affairs was briefed on private details of his medical conditions and finances. Now, the former mechanic with the Royal Canadian Regiment says VAC also breached the privacy of his brother, Anthony.

It Takes Two To Kill Illegal Police Licence Surveillance

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 01.22.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

B.C.'s Information and Privacy Commissioner took a stiff shot at the use of Automatic License Plate Recognition technology by the Victoria police. But it will likely take more than just her efforts to bring this ever-expanding surveillance system back in line with privacy law. The RCMP simply shouldn't be running a surveillance system on people who haven't broken any law, and they shouldn't be able to take advantage of the federal-provincial jurisdictional split to do so either.

Privacy Violation as a Weapon Against Veterans

Jeff Rose-Martland | Posted 01.16.2013 | Canada
Jeff Rose-Martland

There are many cases of privacy violation at Veterans Affairs. Those that have gone public have two things in common: they have all spoken out about VAC policy and they are all veterans. Some can prove the Minister was given their information. Some can only prove that Ministerial staff was reading their files. Why is this happening?

Is B.C.'s New CareCard Another Technological Quagmire For Province?

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 12.31.2012 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

Despite the disastrous launch of the Integrated Case Management System earlier this year, the B.C. government is poised to unveil its next multimillion-dollar, can't-fail IT project: an ID card for everyone in the province. With ICBC in the middle of a labour dispute that finds corporation employees refusing training on the new card, the massive project is on hold, only weeks before its slated November launch.