Ever found your bank statements on Facebook? How about your health records and business plans? That’s what happened to a friend-of-friend of mine. My friend found her friend’s family pictures, health records, business plans and bank statements on Facebook.
The friend-of-friend engaged me to help her out from this as she had no clue how all these information ended up on a Facebook wall. Apparently the friend-of-friend is a business woman and a millionaire who travels a lot to Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and India.
She recently had to undergo a brain surgery in India for which a lot of information was exchanged to her doctors and friends via Gmail. Information includes her health records and bank statements from Canada. She also used this account to exchange business plans with her partners as well as family pictures with her friends.
A recent survey by the Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll on the internet traffic management in Canada suggests one in five surveyed supports the idea as long as all users are treated fairly.
From the Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) point of view, they are doing the right thing by reducing clogs during peak-use-time due to peer-to-peer file sharing services. However, I believe that type of service comes with a cost to regular subscribers. In order to execute such monitoring service, ISP will need to know activities of each and every subscriber which breaching their privacy. The Privacy Commissioner of Canada should be involved in the discussions that Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) are currently having ensuring the privacy of Canadians.
With regards to the Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey, I am curious if the survey ever educated the respondents with the details especially about the ramifications to the regular ISP subscriber if the ISP is allowed to shape internet traffic. According to the report by the Canadian Press, 54 per cent of the respondents did not know whether the traffic management affects them personally.
Couple this with two recent bills – the Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act and the Technical Assistance for Law Enforcement in the 21st Century Act – just introduced before the House of Commons that will allow police to collect information about Canadian Internet users without a warrant and to activate tracking devices in their mobile devices and cars; wouldn’t it be a free pass to the privacy of every Canadian internet user?
My home town, Toronto, is going through a strike by city workers. It’s all over the news with CNN interviewing the Mayor and governments issuing travel advisories. There is no garbage collection at most of the town and many services run by the city workers are closed. Parents are forced to look for day care alternatives while some of the parks are now garbage dump sites.
I am not going to political aspects of whether it’s good or bad. However, I would recommend everyone not to throw out your bills and other unwanted documents to such garbage without properly shredding them. Dumpster divers may have access to such sites and could easily get hold of your personal information that includes credit card and other financial account numbers. Your address is more than enough for an identity theft.