Letters: Internet privacy open to risk

Personal and private information may be at risk on Internet

A number of privacy special interest groups, government officials, and members of the general public have raised concerns that our personally identifiable information is at risk. This concern is based on the nature of information and how it can be easily copied or replicated across the Internet.

The sheer volumes of information being compiled at an ever dizzying rate at electronic storage gets cheaper, people store more information unnecessarily for longer periods of time. As information gets digitized it becomes more accessible and flows seemingly free unrestricted across the Internet. The adoption of new technology, like smart phones and tablets, broadcasts our every move across the globe as we carry volumes of sensitive information with us.

While we recognize these concerns and the related threats and vulnerabilities, they are not new. Information security professionals have been dealing with the handling of sensitive information for decades and as a result have developed standards to help organizations from national governments and large corporations, to smaller businesses.

The TJX breach impacted Canadians who shopped at Home Sense and Winners using their credit cards and the Sony breach affected any parents who allowed their children to use their credit card over the Sony Play Station.

• Choicepoint $15million in 2005, 163,000 citizens’ records breached

• TJX $42,000,000.00 in 2006 45.6 million citizens’ records breached

•Heartland $60 million in 2009, 130 million citizens’ credit and debit cards breached, 656 customer/corporations were affected.

• Sony $177million.

Mark Bernard

Sooke