Smart Toys And Regulating The IOT In Canada

Article by Brent J. Arnold and Kavivarman Sivasothy (Articling Student)

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has just issued a seasonal (and chilling) reminder about the dangers of internet-connected children’s toys: they may be recording your children’s voices and sharing their locations when they play.1  The FTC encourages grownups buying smart toys to investigate what kind of information the toys store, how and where the data is stored and shared, and whether parents have the ability to see and delete the data collected.  It also flags U.S. privacy law requirements around consent and disclosure with which toy manufacturers must comply (Canada has similar privacy law requirements).

The warning is timely for Canadians as well, and not just because it’s gift-giving season.  Smart toys make up a growing part of the Internet of Things (the “IoT”)—the universe of network-connected devices, ranging from smartphones to connected cars to pacemakers to Christmas lights—that bring greater convenience to daily life but that often contain little or no protection from cyber attacks.  Cisco estimates that the IoT “will comprise more than 30 billion connected devices” by 2020.2

Ensuring consumers understand the cybersecurity and privacy risks associated with connected consumer products is a key aspect of cybersecurity, but governments are also increasingly (if belatedly) recognizing that safeguards must be implemented at the manufacturing stage to effectively insulate end-users from cyber-attacks and unauthorized intrusions.

The Canadian Senate has expressed similar concerns to the FTC over the proliferation of the IoT. The Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce recently published a report about the growth of cybersecurity threats in Canada, noting that “over half of Canadian households have four or more Internet-connected devices, and each of these devices could potentially serve as a target for cyber criminals,”  and recommending that “[t]he federal government develop standards to protect consumers, businesses and governments from threats related to the Internet of Things devices.”3

Canada would not be the first jurisdiction to consider imposing cybersecurity standards on manufacturers of connected devices.

Japan has had an IoT strategy in place for some time now.  Its National Center for Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (“NISC”) released a draft General Framework for Secured IoT Systems in 20164 as part of a 2015 national strategy5 driven in part by the security imperatives arising from Japan’s hosting of the 2020 Olympic Games.6  The General Framework adopts the privacy principle of “privacy by design” and recognizes the need to develop “safety assurance standards, including statutory and customary requirements” for the IoT.7

Japan updated its strategy in July 2018,8 emphasizing the necessity of creating guidelines for industry and of promoting “efforts for international standardization of the basic elements of cybersecurity required for realizing secure IoT systems in order to develop value creation systems for IoT systems and deploy it on a global scale while utilizing Japan’s strengths of safety and security in order to contribute to the development of the global economy through spreading such secure IoT systems.”9

It is clear that Japan recognizes its leverage as a technological hub that can strongly influence global standard-setting, and is actively working to build up cybersecurity through policy.

Other jurisdictions have similarly recognized the importance of enforcing standards.  A new California law10coming into force in 2020 broadly defines “connected devices” to mean “any device, or other physical object that is capable of connecting to the Internet, directly or indirectly, and that is assigned an Internet Protocol address or Bluetooth address.”11 The incoming law requires the manufacturer of any “connected device” to:

[E]quip the device with a reasonable security feature or features that are all of the following:

  1. Appropriate to the nature and function of the device.
  2. Appropriate to the information it may collect, contain, or transmit.
  3. Designed to protect the device and any information contained therein from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure.12

Meanwhile, a U.S. Senate bill not yet passed into law13 but endorsed by a number of cybersecurity experts would require that IoT devices are patchable, contain no known vulnerabilities, rely on standardized protocols, and not use hard-coded passwords.14

There is no doubt that influential jurisdictions are recognizing the risk of allowing rapid IoT growth without corresponding regulatory authority.  A Canadian approach to regulating the IoT raises interesting questions. Would jurisdiction be federal or provincial (likely both)?  What existing or new regulators would take jurisdiction?  What changes to existing privacy and other laws would be needed to implement a successful scheme of regulation and standards?

A robust and clear technical and legal framework is critical for end-users to appreciate their rights, and for the producers of these devices to understand their responsibilities. The jurisdictions that act first and go farthest will largely shape the approach taken by other jurisdictions.  It will be interesting to see whether Canada becomes a leader or a follower in this process.

Read the original article on GowlingWLG.com

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Source: Mondaq

Re-imagining classic carols for December’s spotlight on impaired driving

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B.C.’s insurance corporation cuts ad budget in favour of traffic enforcement

VICTORIA _ The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia is slashing its advertising budget in half and redirecting the funds toward police traffic enforcement.

Attorney General David Eby says high risk drivers are ignoring the corporation’s road safety messages.

He says channelling advertising funds directly to enforcement will offer the chance to deliver the message directly to risky drivers.

Starting in the next fiscal year, the insurance corporation will add $2.4 million to enhanced traffic enforcement.

The Ministry of the Attorney General says that will boost the public insurer’s investment in direct safety traffic programs to $24.8 million.

Corporation president Nicolas Jimenez says ICBC’s cost pressures can be traced directly to the 350,000 crashes, about 960 a day, that were recorded across British Columbia last year.

“With crashes at an all-time high in our province, we’re committed to doing what we can to reduce claims costs and relieve the pressure on insurance rates,” Jimenez says in a news release.

The corporation says the $2.4 million remaining in its advertising budget will be spent educating drivers about upcoming changes to the provincial auto insurance system.

#DriveSmartBC – Building Trust, Driving Confidence

ICBC’s current corporate slogan is “Building Trust, Driving Confidence.” Pair that with this week’s announcement of a $582 million loss for the first six months of the corporation’s fiscal year and one begins to wonder about the confidence part. That loss is being blamed on the rising number and cost of claims.

Laying the blame there is probably the easiest thing to do and the least likely to require a lot of explanation.

ICBC rates are set by the BC Utilities Commission, which is ultimately controlled by the provincial government. That’s the same government that took dividends out of ICBC coffers that could have been invested by the corporation and the profits used to pay insurance claims.

Our provincial government also controls many other facets of this issue. Driver licensing, policing, traffic laws, highway design and maintenance to name a few.

So, who’s in the driver’s seat and where are they taking us? Are we happy with the direction of travel?

There are three ways to reduce this deficit, take in more money, reduce costs and quit running into each other or other things.

No one wants to pay more for their vehicle insurance. This is a relatively immediate consequence and one that we feel acutely. It’s easy to complain about as it’s visible to us all regularly.

Let’s make the high risk driver pay a high risk premium. Ditto for those who actually cause a crash. They should pay more too. Good drivers should pay the smallest premium.

Recently, reducing costs has come in the form of paying less for claims. This is a little more palatable because we’re all better than average drivers and perhaps this isn’t seen as something that will directly affect us. Someone else will pay the price regardless of whether they are the culprit or the victim.

Finally we come to a very complicated problem, how to reduce or eliminate collisions. Vision Zero. The most certain way to reduce insurance rates.

People make mistakes. Despite our best intentions bad things can happen and this is why we buy insurance.

The reduction of these mistakes and the minimization of the consequences of those that do happen will be a long process. Safe highways, safe vehicles, safe speeds and safe users all combine to produce the safe systems of Vision Zero.

I can make a difference immediately if I try. I realize that driving is a team effort, not an individual one. I won’t be selfish and I’ll share the road. I will even try to put others first if there is a need to.

Will you?

Holiday CounterAttack roadchecks start this weekend

Holiday CounterAttack roadchecks start this weekend

The annual holiday CounterAttack campaign is kicking off this weekend with roadchecks set up across the province.

The B.C. government, police and ICBC are urging drivers to plan ahead and make smart decisions to get home safely this holiday season.

Impaired driving remains a leading cause of fatal car crashes, with an average of 68 lives lost every year in B.C. Police across the province will be setting up roadchecks to keep impaired drivers off our roads throughout December.

For more than 40 years, ICBC has supported impaired driving education campaigns and funded CounterAttack enhanced police enforcement. ICBC also provides free special event permit kits for businesses, sports facilities and community groups to promote the get home safe message.

ICBC is a sponsor of Operation Red Nose, a volunteer service in 19 B.C. communities that provides safe rides to drivers who feel unfit to drive, no matter the reason. This service is available November 30 until December 31 on Friday and Saturday nights, including New Year’s Eve.

Next fiscal year, ICBC will be directing additional funding to police traffic enforcement throughout the province without increasing the operating budget.  The funding will come from ICBC’s annual advertising budget. This shift in focus will help get more police officers on the road to crack down on risky driving behaviors and help prevent crashes.

Get more stats and facts from ICBC’s infographic and learn more about the CounterAttack campaign on icbc.com.

Quotes:

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General

“Generations of B.C. drivers and passengers have grown up with CounterAttack’s deterrent messages and stepped-up seasonal enforcement. With cannabis now legal in Canada, we’re determined to preserve CounterAttack’s life-saving benefits in detecting alcohol- and drug-affected drivers and removing them from B.C.’s roads.”

Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee

“Police officers across the province will be working hard to keep impaired drivers off our roads this December. Driving while impaired by alcohol or any drug, legal or otherwise, has been against the law for many years, and that hasn’t changed. Do your part this holiday season and look out for family and friends – take a stand and don’t let them get behind the wheel impaired.”

Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s vice-president responsible for road safety

“We want everyone to enjoy the holidays with family and friends so make sure you plan ahead for a safe ride home. Whether you’re attending a holiday get-together or meeting friends to watch a game, if your festivities involve alcohol, please leave your car at home or find an alternate way to get home safe – use a designated driver, call a taxi, take transit or use Operation Red Nose.”

Statistics:*

  • On average, 17 people are killed in crashes involving impaired driving in the Lower Mainland every year.

  • On average, 10 people are killed in crashes involving impaired driving on Vancouver Island every year.

  • On average, 23 people are killed in crashes involving impaired driving in the Southern Interior every year.

  • On average, 19 people are killed in crashes involving impaired driving in North Central B.C. every year.

Editor’s notes:

Lower Mainland media are invited to attend an evening CounterAttack roadcheck on Saturday, December 1 in Vancouver. Please contact Joanne Bergman, 604-314-3138, for location.

Several police detachments throughout B.C. will also invite media to attend CounterAttack roadchecks in their communities on December 1.

B-roll footage of a CounterAttack roadcheck is available for download.

Notes about the data:

*Fatal victim counts from police data based on five-year average from 2013 to 2017. Impaired is defined to include alcohol, illicit drugs and medicines.

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