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Cybersecurity sagacity

Editorial Obiter

It’s the dawn of a new age after Facebook users around the world have found out unexpected ways their personal information may be available to others through their use of the social media platform.

There has already been legal fallout. For example, Toronto law firm Koskie Minsky LLP is leading a global class action against Facebook, based on allegations that Facebook was aware its users’ personal data could easily be accessed by third parties through the social media platform. 

This week, there are different features exploring cybersecurity and mobile technology, a rapidly expanding area of interest for lawyers in Ontario. One story looks at lawyers’ concerns over the use and protection of peoples’ personal information, especially with the development of artificial intelligence and use of blockchain.

Lawyer Imran Ahmad sees the potential for risk through the misuse of data.

“For AI to be effective, or even for deep learning to be effective, you need a lot of data,” he says. 

“Those issues around the data sets — how they’re collected, what is collected, what scope of information are we collecting from an individual — all of that is a thing which is unclear at this stage. That’s where some of the risk lies.”

Another looks at how lawyers are preparing for the rollout of new mandatory data-breach reporting rules going into effect in Canada. They’ll go into effect in November, three years after being introduced through legislation.

Some companies have progress to make to ensure they’ll be in compliance.

“They will have some work to do really in just creating clear roles about who handles what reporting channels and employee awareness about what to flag so it can be investigated and determined if there was a breach,” says David Elder. Legislators can sometimes lag behind technology, and so, smart lawyers will have to learn how to be ahead of the curve when it comes to advising their clients on what steps to take. The World Economic Forum has said data is the new currency, and it’s right.

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