source Globe And Post article Canada’s data breaches are so serious, that some experts are calling for a new law that would give police the power to track down and prosecute those who breached data security.
A bill introduced in the House of Commons Thursday would do just that.
The bill, which could come to a vote as early as next week, is being touted as a way to reduce the number of cyberattacks that cause harm to Canadians.
“We need to protect our people and our institutions from these attacks, and it’s an opportunity to make sure that these attacks are taken seriously,” said the bill’s co-sponsor, Conservative MP Michelle Rempel.
“I believe we need to be able to look at this as an opportunity rather than an opportunity cost.”
What is a breach?
Breach is when someone tries to steal or steal an electronic device without permission.
It can occur in the mail, online, at a vending machine or even in a restaurant, bar or coffee shop.
According to the federal government, nearly 40 per cent of breaches involve the theft of personal data.
The government estimates that 1.2 million Canadians are affected by cyberattacks.
But a new report from security firm McAfee indicates that about half of all cyberattacks are perpetrated by people in countries where the police have little or no jurisdiction, such as China and Russia.
That could be a problem if the bill passes.
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police estimates that up to half of cybercrimes are committed by people who do not have the authority to conduct their own investigations.
“Cybercrime has become a global threat, with billions of dollars spent each year in response to these attacks,” said McAfee CEO and co-founder John Gartner in a statement.
“There is a lack of effective legislation that makes it easier for law enforcement to address these types of breaches.”
Gartner said that Canada should also consider strengthening its cybercrime laws, which are currently weak.
“If Canada wants to keep up with the international competition and have strong cybercrime legislation, then we need strong cybersecurity laws,” he said.
While many experts agree that the best way to prevent breaches is to use strong passwords, the new bill would provide police with the tools to collect data on those who breach passwords.
“The idea is that if we can do that in a way that is transparent and can be seen by the public, then the public will be more likely to use that information,” said Rempel, who also represents the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
“That is a step in the right direction.”
The bill would also help the government identify and prevent data breaches.
According to the Canadian Association for Criminal Defense Law, the government already has the power “to seize property in an effort to recover data that may be relevant to the investigation.”
But the new legislation would give law enforcement that authority, as well as the power of the court to order the seizure of information.
If you or anyone you know has been affected by a breach, contact the CBC’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Unit at 416-869-4848.
For more information on data protection, visit the government website.