Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Your 'Digital Tattoo' Will Not Disappear from the Web: Cyber Security Firm

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Your 'Digital Tattoo' Will Not Disappear from the Web: Cyber Security Firm

Article excerpt

Scams, privacy are big digital concerns in 2014


MONTREAL - Cyber criminals will still be out in force in 2014, but privacy is expected to come to the forefront of digital concerns.

Along with scams, cyber security firms see a continued risk to citizens' privacy with basic activities such as posting on social media sites, downloading apps on their smartphones and, of course, through indiscretions.

"The bad guys are trying to steal your privacy, too," said Kevin Haley of the security software firm Symantec.

But Haley said recent news events revealing how personal information can be scooped up online will get people thinking about their digital privacy.

"I think it finally gives people the perspective, the concept, of how much information can be gathered about them online," said Haley, a director with Symantec's security response team in Culver City, Calif.

For example, documents obtained from former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden showed that the organization gathered as many as five billion records every day from hundreds of millions of cellphones worldwide by tapping into cables that carry international data traffic.

Also reported by media outlets were American and British intelligence operations spying on gamers across the world. Reports suggested that the world's most powerful espionage agencies sent undercover agents into virtual universes to monitor activity in online fantasy games such as "World of Warcraft.''

In Canada, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association has filed a lawsuit against the Communications Security Establishment Canada, or CSEC. The group claims Canadian data is being swept up as CSEC monitors emails, phone calls and text messages of foreign targets, when those targets are communicating with Canadians.

Haley said he expects privacy concerns will push app makers to offer users increased data protection. …

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