Recent court rulings protect personal privacy and encryption, but what does that mean for long term privacy? We unpack privacy measures and best practices for data security.
In November 2019, a Pennsylvania Appellate court ruled that the defendant, a man accused of child pornography offenses, could not be compelled to reveal his password to give access to his encrypted computer. The court decided that the provision of the password was protected under the 5th Amendment of the United States, acknowledging that forcing the defendant to give up his password was like forcing self-incrimination.
But what does this mean in broader terms of privacy when it comes to technology?
Privacy has been a significant topic of late, especially as it relates to the devices, apps, and programs we use every single day. A court in California denied a warrant that would require a suspect’s fingerprint to access his mobile device. While these court rulings protected the individuals in these two cases, these privacy issues go beyond our personal devices.
Many Canadian businesses use encryption to protect their customer’s data, particularly when it is being stored or used in communication. Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) even establish some compliance best practices for businesses, including having security measures—such as encryption—in place to ensure data is secure. PIPEDA also accounts for business “Accountability, Safeguards, Accuracy, and Consent” when it comes to private consumer information.
What happens, however, when governments begin asking businesses to provide back doors to their encrypted information? This impacts the privacy of both business communications and personal consumer data.
This could be the case for Canadian businesses both now and in the future, and an ongoing conversation in countries around the globe.
While the cases in California and Pennsylvania may seem extreme, what they reveal is that our understanding of privacy as it relates to technology is still very unclear. As businesses seek to keep up with rapidly changing technology, governments are equally pushed to keep up with how that new technology impacts personal and corporate privacy.
The solutions may still be long in coming, but what matters for you is using the best practices available today to manage your privacy. In both a corporate and personal setting, that looks like complying with current privacy laws, using firewalls, regularly updating software and hardware, and incorporating cybersecurity measures to protect against data breaches and malware attacks.
Each of these measures plays a role in protecting your personal and corporate information and keeping your data private.
Staying on top of compliance is just part of the role businesses play in protecting user privacy. Making sure you understand and practice cybersecurity, know and follow encryption practices, and help your customers understand what measures you take to protect their data will go a long way in securing both your business and your data.
Working with local managed IT services is one of the best ways to stay on top of encryption privacy and security. With rapidly changing policies and technologies, leaning on Compunet Infotech ensures you stay compliant with city, provincial and national measures, as well as getting cutting-edge cybersecurity and data protection for your company.
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January 10, 2020
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