uOttawa law students launch free platform to help small businesses combat data breaches

Platform assists small businesses without enough resources in facing legal impacts of privacy breach

uOttawa law students launch free platform to help small businesses combat data breaches
jusTech’s co-founders Ayushi Dave, Ritesh Kotak, Ryan Mosoff | Image credit: University of Ottawa

Three law students at the University of Ottawa have established jusTech, a free online platform that offers small business owners tools to fight cyber breaches and a simple and easy process for evaluating and acting in response to the breach.

“It’s no small feat to see how they came together to create an important tool for small businesses, putting on full display the ingenuity and innovation of our students,” said Alain Roussy, interim dean at the law school’s Common Law Section, in a news release from the law school.

Ritesh Kotak, Ayushi Dave and Ryan Mosoff, tech fellows in the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, raised $20,000 in start-up cash and co-founded JusTech to help the small business community and to advance access to justice. Due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, they had to establish the project without meeting in person.

“We have worked hard to create a tool that addresses a significant issue faced by many Canadian small businesses who are the backbone of our economy,” said Kotak, a student knowledgeable in cyber tech at the Common Law section.

jusTech recently prevailed in the Harley Finkelstein Entrepreneurship Challenge, a competition named after and endowed by a uOttawa alumnus who has served as Shopify’s chief executive officer. The co-founders will use the $2000 prize to supplement the start-up amount.

jusTech’s website lists the platform’s core offerings, which include free tools, courses and policies aiming to assist small businesses in more effectively navigating this area by generating the applicable breach-reporting forms, by facilitating the auto-submission of reports to the local police service for certain cities and by offering resources in both English and French for safeguarding against future data breaches through an affiliate network.

The co-founders, who are passionate about access to justice and tech law, studied the privacy breach reporting process and looked for opportunities to work toward technological automation and autonomy among Canadian business owners, said information on jusTech’s website. They wanted to support small businesses who are facing the legal impacts of a privacy breach but who don’t have enough knowledge or resources to fight the legal obstacles.

“Access to Justice is not just a buzz word to us, it is what drives us, [it’s] why we invest so much of our time into this issue,” Kotak said in the news release. According to Kotak, the co-founders ultimately wish to provide small business owners with support during such a stressful situation.

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