Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Data Privacy Day 2009: Raising awareness

January 28th marks the 2nd annual international data privacy day in Canada, the U.S. and 27 European countries. The purpose of the event is to "raise awareness and generate discussion about data privacy practices and rights." It also serves the important purpose of furthering international collaboration and cooperation around privacy issues.

This year's data privacy day comes on the heels of what may have been the largest breach ever reported, with the personal information of nearly 100 million exposed at a U.S.-based credit card processing firm. Hackers breached the computer network at Heartland Payment Systems Inc., exposing customers' credit card numbers, card expiration dates and some internal bank codes - all information that could be used to forge a credit card. The company handles 100 million card transactions for 250,000 businesses nationwide each month.

The scale of the breach is “shocking,” says Jennifer Stoddart, Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

“After what we saw at TJX, that you could have such a major data breach, I'm asking myself what is happening and what is not getting through to organizations?” she says. “You should always take the steps to make sure there is suitable protection.”

As this most recent breach demonstrates, there is still much work to be done to raise awareness about data privacy.

No comments: