Canadian university launches cybersecurity, biometrics, privacy governance discussion
The platform will first address social media platforms and their use for fake news and hate speech dissemination, the Internet of Things and home surveillance devices, and biometric technology, specifically facial recognition.
“Over the next 12 months we will put forward public policy research, approaches and recommendations to those three policy areas,” said Charles Finlay, executive director of the Cybersecure Catalyst, an innovation center located in Brampton, Ontario, in a statement.
As explained in the report Advancing a Cybersecure Canada, the goal is to raise awareness around the security issues of these technologies and encourage their responsible use. As most laws in the country were introduced before tech disruption, they do not properly address cybersecurity and digital privacy risks to ensure public trust and security.
In an event announced for July 14, a public opinion survey of Canadians’ concerns on the matter will be presented. Based on feedback from 2,000 Canadians, the survey found that 57 percent fell victim to a cybercrime, only 15 percent believe their data is secured by Facebook and 41 percent do not trust using camera-enabled doorbells, while 15 percent advocated for a ban on devices that capture a video of people without their consent. As many as 68 percent of Canadians have at least one smart device in their home, while 49 percent said it was their right to have a camera-enabled doorbell.
“Our research shows the cybersecurity and privacy issues Canadians are facing are very serious,” Finlay added.
According to IT World Canada, Finley says that Canadians do not trust social media platforms, especially after the Cambridge Analytica scandal confirmed user information was extracted and used for political advertising. There is a high interest in connected devices and biometrics, but Finlay believes Canadians do not fully understand the privacy and security ramifications of these devices, or technology in society.