Biometric authentication is becoming increasingly common. Smartphones and computers use it, banks have started to use it, and recently MasterCard began rolling out “selfie pay” allowing users to authenticate online payments by using their face at the point of sale. Biometric authentication refers to the validation of a user’s identity by measuring physical or behavioral characteristics. Biometric samples may include fingerprints, retinal scans, palm scans, face and voice recognition.
In December 2015, over 50 WTO members, including Canada, gathered at the Nairobi Ministerial Conference, and agreed to the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), a WTO agreement that aims to eliminate tariffs on IT products. The ITA was originally concluded by 29 participants in 1996. It now has over 82 participants, representing around 97 per cent of world trade in IT products.
Between July 2016 and February 2017, the federal government is consulting Canadians on planned accessibility legislation. The goal of the law would be to promote equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion and participation of Canadians who have disabilities or functional limitations in all areas of every day life.
On August 16, 2016, Public Safety Canada (“PSC”) issued a consultation paper, launching a public consultation as part of PSC’s development of an updated national cybersecurity strategy. The consultation will close on October 15, 2016. Businesses may want to consider making submissions in respect of some key questions posed around possible regulation or standard-setting regarding Internet of Things and connected devices, certification for E-commerce activities, and information sharing (especially in respect of critical infrastructure).
U.S. online payment processor Dwolla fined $100,000 for misrepresenting data security practices: Lessons for Canadian companies
In March, 2016 the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a Consent Order against Dwolla Inc., an online payment platform, for deceiving consumers about its information security practices. The CFPB levied a $100,000 civil monetary penalty against the company, a first for the CFPB. While Canada has different privacy and consumer protection regimes, the lessons from the Dwolla case point to a new direction in enforcement approaches.
Sooner or later, every enterprise will face a crisis. When it hits, the ability to side-step disaster depends on the effectiveness of your company’s response. Preparedness and oversight of crisis management is a key responsibility of the board of directors.