Enough With The Unencrypted Portable Devices Says The Ontario IPC


The #1 item on my “tough love list” for New Year’s 2013 was “Enough of the Unencrypted USB Keys“.

You won’t have been alone if you didn’t tackle that in the first quarter of 2013.

However, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario has filmed and posted a “Commissioner’s Corner” that might get this item onto your agenda. Following the latest loss of data in Ontario, Dr. Cavoukian spoke out on the transfer and storage of personal information on unencrypted storage devices.

Some salient quotes from Dr. Ann Cavoukian:

“It wasn’t encrypted; that’s what makes me crazy”

“You cannot allow data, sensitive data especially, to be transferred onto a mobile device, be it a laptop, a USB key, whatever, without encrypting the data”

“It’s not enough to have a policy that says you are supposed to encrypt the data, you have to have that reflected in concrete actions that take that from the policy stage to the front line staff who are doing these things and you have to train the staff […] and you have to give them the means by which they know how to encrypt the data […]”

“Don’t let there be one more data breach like this”

Message received, Commissioner.


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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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