The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has an Interpretation Bulletin dealing with privacy safeguards that can serve as helpful guidance for organizations who are subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
I recently read an interesting case made by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (decision 2014 – 014) stating that under subsection 5(3) of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) that the employer’s purposes for disclosing the employee’s personal information regarding his medical leave were not appropriate in the circumstances and were not necessary for the organization to meet its employee schedule management needs in the context of its work environment.
Much has been written about Heartbleed and the speed at which various companies have reacted to it. Notably, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) closed their online portal for some time and lost hundreds of Social Insurance Numbers. It was also revealed that the NSA has been using the bug for over two years to get (no longer) encrypted traffic.
The issue that Heartbleed has is not unique. Much of what powers the internet has bugs that allow an attacker access to your private information—we just don’t know what those bugs are yet—and we will always exist in this state.
Computer security is not like physical security. Adding extra layers doesn’t necessarily help and no matter what you do, if someone has physical access to the machine it must be treated as compromised. The Snowden revelations show that there is no denying it anymore—we live in a world where very sensitive … Continue reading “What businesses can learn from Heartbleed”