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      Privacy Commissioner Calls for Fines in Wake of Sony Breach

      May 11, 2011
      Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart spoke at the Canada 3.0 forum in Stratford, Ontario, and voiced her disappointment about the massive Sony privacy breach that was disclosed in late April. Stoddart said that it is time for Canadian legislation to empower the Office of Canada's Privacy Commissioner to impose substantial fines against major corporations that fail to adequately protect Canadians' personal information from preventable breaches.

      Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart spoke at the Canada 3.0 forum in Stratford, Ontario, and voiced her disappointment about the massive Sony privacy breach that was disclosed in late April. Stoddart said that it is time for Canadian legislation to empower the Office of Canada's Privacy Commissioner to impose substantial fines against major corporations that fail to adequately protect Canadians' personal information from preventable breaches.

      According to a Canada.com article, the privacy breach involved tens of millions of online gamers and PlayStation customers. Stoddart stated, "I was very disappointed that Sony did not proactively notify my office of the breach."

      "I am deeply troubled by the large number of major breaches we are seeing, including serious incidents in recent weeks that have affected hundreds of thousands of Canadians,'' Stoddart said. "It seems to me that it's time to begin imposing fines — significant, attention-getting fines — on companies when poor privacy and security practices lead to breaches,” she continued.

      The article noted that Stoddart directly pointed to Sony.

      "Only last week, Sony revealed that it had been attacked by hackers who obtained the names, addresses, email addresses, birth dates, usernames, passwords, logins, security questions and what Sony says was encrypted credit card data from 77 million PlayStation Network accounts. The incident has affected people around the globe, including hundreds of thousands of Canadians,” said Stoddart.

      According to the article, since Sony announced the initial breach involving its PlayStation network, the company recently revealed it was the target of a second attack by hackers. While not affecting the debit or credit card information of Canadian online gamers, the attack may have exposed the personal information of 25 million customers, in addition to about 75 million PlayStation users.

       This monthly advisory contains brief summaries of recent legislative and regulatory issues that may affect the management of records and information in Canada.

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