Federal IT systems at risk of ‘critical failure,’ Trudeau warned in memo

By Jordan Press

THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA _ Newly released briefing notes for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau describe the dire state of federal computer systems, which deliver billions in benefits and are on the precipice of collapse.

Officials briefing Trudeau after his party’s re-election noted  “mission-critical” systems and applications are “rusting out and at risk of failure,” requiring immediate attention from his government.

Some systems are pushing 60 years old and built on “outdated technology” that can no longer be maintained.

The Canadian Press obtained the documents through the Access to Information Act, and much of the text has been blacked out because it is considered sensitive advice to government.

One of the few visible lines says the public service will be working on projects  “to stabilize mission-critical systems.”

The Liberals promised in the fall campaign to improve services for Canadians.

These back-office problems often require long-term spending commitments and improvements that aren’t easily seen by voters, which means they aren’t usually top-of-mind issues for politicians. But there has been a growing belief inside the government that how satisfied citizens are with digital services is linked to how much trust they place in their government.

Nowhere is the issue of antiquated systems more pronounced than Employment and Social Development Canada, which oversees child, parental, senior and employment insurance benefits.

The Liberals have already made multiple changes to the federal social safety net that required programming changes to old systems. The documents to Trudeau suggest the aged systems pose a problem for more changes the Liberals have promised.

“The complex array of existing programs and services means that future program changes, to continue providing Canadians with the programs and services they expect when interacting with their government, will need to account for pressures on legacy IT systems, which are facing rust-out and critical failure,” part of the briefing binder says.

“These aging platforms neither meet the desired digital interaction nor are capable of full automation, and thus are unable to deliver cost-savings through back-office functions.”

For example, the system that runs old age security is almost as old as those now reaching the age to benefit from it.

A separate document says upgrades are taking longer than planned because of procurement delays and the complexity of projects.

Funding pressures are coming in part from the requirement to maintain existing technologies longer than originally anticipated, the document says.

Often, officials didn’t look to upgrade these old systems so long as they continued to work, said Andre Leduc, vice-president of government relations and policy with the Information Technology Association of Canada. He said the majority of departmental IT budgets are used to keep old systems running, leaving little spending room to deploy new technology like cloud computing.

“It’s not that they’re hitting the panic button. There is no panic yet,” Leduc said.

“There is a lot of concern, both within the bureaucracy, within the political layer, and within industry about we need to get this ball rolling. We need to help government digitally transform.”

Leduc said it won’t be an easy fix because of the money required, and getting the government to move ahead with major IT work after getting burned on high-profile projects. The most glaring example is the Phoenix pay system that has left public servants overpaid, underpaid or not paid at all.

Devices & apps are hacking our attention, & that’s precisely what they’re designed to do.

Devices & apps are hacking our attention, & that’s precisely what they’re designed to do.

Just months after the first iPhone was released in 2007, Nir Eyal and some of his Stanford classmates were part of a project creating apps that would be advertised and sold via Facebook.

This was before the app store existed and at a time when Facebook was open to third-party app developers.

The goal of the project was to learn about the psychology of Facebook and what drew people to it — or away from it.

Eyal served as the CEO of the business and within months the apps created by the class had 16 million users and they’d generated more than $1 million US in ad revenue. They understood how to design to create dependence.

While people may talk about being addicted to their phones or to social media, the reality is that they are dependent on those products because they’re designed that way.

Those products are designed to get you hooked.

Creating the habit

The group at Stanford, informally known as “The Facebook Class,” went on to work at Silicon Valley giants like Facebook and Google.

Eyal teaches, consults and writes about the intersection of psychology, business and technology. He’s the author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products.

“Of course these devices and apps are hacking our attention. That’s what they’re designed to do,” Eyal told Day 6 host Brent Bambury.

He says that five years ago, even he was hooked.

“I would check my phone when I meant to be with my daughter. I would check my phone when I meant to do a project at work. I would check my phone just for any old reason,” said Eyal. “And that actually caused me to reconsider my relationship with distraction.”

Eyal uses an example from the behavioural work of psychologist B. F. Skinner to explain how devices and apps are designed to become habit-forming.

Skinner taught pigeons to tap a disc in order to get a pellet of food. The food was their reward.

Eventually, Skinner changed the pattern so that the pigeons would get their rewards inconsistently. The birds might tap the disc but would not always get a food pellet.

“What Skinner observed was that the rate of response the number of times the pigeons pecked at the disc increased when the reward was given on a variable schedule of reinforcement,” explained Eyal.

“We see the same, what we call intermittent rewards, in all sorts of things. It’s what makes gambling so engaging. It’s what makes the news interesting,” he said. “It’s what you don’t already know.”

The same desire for intermittent reward apply to books, movies and sports – the outcome is unpredictable.

“And of course, it’s at the core of many habit forming products online like social media, email, Google searches. All of these things utilize an intermittent reinforcement.”

That unpredictability is why users keep checking Facebook and Twitter and Instagram – will there be any likes? Will there be any retweets? What’s trending?

Sounding the alarm

Chamath Palihapitiya was a Facebook executive in the company’s earlier years. Today he’s a venture capitalist and a critic of social media.

In a talk at Stanford University in late 2017, Palihapitiya acknowledged that while it wasn’t intentional by Facebook executives, “I think in the back of the deep, deep recesses of our minds we kind of knew that something bad could happen.”

READ FULL ARTICLE AT CBC NEWS 

38% of Canadian Professionals Will Shop Online From Work This Holiday Season

38% of Canadian Professionals Will Shop Online From Work This Holiday Season

Toronto, ON — Online shopping has afforded consumers the luxury of shopping around the clock, but how many professionals take advantage by shopping on the clock during the holidays? Nearly two in five Canadian employees (38 per cent) will be “workshopping” — shopping online from the office or when using corporate devices — according to a new survey from staffing firm Robert Half Technology. Of those respondents, 21 per cent admitted that looking for cyber deals hinders their on-the-job productivity.

Even though 76 per cent of technology leaders said their firm allows for it, more than half (55 per cent) prefer employees avoid shopping online during business hours or while using a company device. Security risks (62 per cent) and loss of productivity (30 per cent) are the top “workshopping” concerns among tech managers. 

“Between planning for the holidays, fitting in social obligations and wrapping up major projects, year-end can be a stressful time for workers,” said Deborah Bottineau, district director for Robert Half Technology. “Online shopping during the workday can be a helpful way to manage to-do lists and alleviate some of the pressures of the season.”

“Tech leaders should anticipate an increase in online shopping this time of year and make a proactive effort to refresh and communicate IT security policies with their teams,” added Bottineau. “Ensuring employees limit their browsing time and understand safe online practices can mitigate potential risks to the organization and help staff stay productive both at and outside of work.”

Additional findings:

  • Workers ages 18 to 34 (47 per cent) are the most likely to “workshop,” compared to 38 per cent of workers ages 35 to 54 and 17 per cent of workers 55 and older.
  • Forty-four per cent of all “workshoppers” say they’ll spend under 30 minutes per week shopping from work during the holiday season, while 38 per cent will spend up to an hour per week “workshopping.”
  • Thirty-nine per cent say they like to “workshop” just about any day; 22 per cent say Cyber Monday is their favourite day to “workshop,” followed by Amazon Prime Day (16 per cent).

About the Research
The online surveys were developed by Robert Half Technology and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 500 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments and more than 270 IT decision makers in Canada.

About Robert Half Technology
With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at roberthalf.ca/technology

Tech-savvy Thieves Don’t Need Your Keys

Insurance Bureau of Canada releases its 2019 Top 10 Stolen Vehicles list –

TORONTO, Dec. 3, 2019 /CNW/ – While the technology in our vehicles continues to evolve, so do sophisticated auto thieves who are using technology to bypass security systems and electronically gain access to Canadians’ vehicles. Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is finding that technology is having a major impact on vehicle thefts, evident in its annual list, released today, of Canada’s most frequently stolen vehicles.

“Electronic auto theft is on the rise across the country as more vehicles are equipped with technology like keyless entry fobs,” said Bryan Gast, National Director of Investigative Services, IBC. “Regardless of how a vehicle is stolen, auto theft is a serious threat to Public Safety and continues to cost all Canadians.”

Auto theft is big business in Canada

Auto theft costs Canadians close to $1 billion every year. This includes $542 million for insurers to fix or replace stolen vehicles, $250 million in police, health care and court system costs and millions more for correctional services.

While some vehicles are stolen to commit another crime or to be used to go for a “joyride”, many others are stolen by organized crime groups to be sold to unsuspecting consumers in Canada, shipped abroad or stripped down for parts.

2019 Top 10 Stolen Vehicles

IBC’s Top 10 Stolen Vehicles list is compiled using data from IBC’s member companies across the country. This year’s list includes nine vehicles that don’t have ignition immobilizers, which are devices that can prevent thieves from hot-wiring a vehicle. The lack of an ignition immobilizer is the number one reason this series of Ford trucks continues to take up the majority of spots on the list.

  1. Ford 350SD AWD 2007
  2. Ford 350SD AWD 2006
  3. Ford 350SD AWD 2005
  4. Ford 350SD AWD 2004
  5. Ford 250SD AWD 2006
  6. Ford 350SD AWD 2003
  7. Lexus RX350/RX350L/RX450h/RX450hL 4DR AWD 2018
  8. Ford F250 SD 4WD 2005
  9. Ford F350 SD 4AWD 2002
  10. Honda Civic Si 2DR Coupe 1998

Tips to prevent auto theft  

Even with today’s tech-savvy thieves, there are a number of steps Canadians can take to help protect themselves from becoming a victim of auto theft.

  • Don’t leave a keyless entry fob in a vehicle or unprotected at the front entrance of your home. Thieves can use wireless transmitters to intercept the signal, giving them access to the vehicle. Consider storing fobs in a protective box or bag that blocks the signal.
  • Install an immobilizing device which prevents thieves from bypassing the ignition and hot-wiring a vehicle. This can include devices that require wireless ignition authentication or starter, ignition and fuel pump disablers.
  • Install a tracking device that emits a signal to police or a monitoring station if a vehicle is stolen.
  • Don’t make your vehicle an easy target:
    • Never leave a vehicle running when unattended.
    • Lock the doors and close all windows when parked.
    • Make sure to park in well-lit areas or in the garage.
    • Use a visible or audible device that shows thieves a vehicle is protected.
    • Consider using a deterrent like a steering wheel or brake pedal lock.
    • Don’t leave personal information, like insurance and ownership documents, in the glove box when parked.

Interviews

IBC’s National Director of Investigative Services, Bryan Gast, is available for interviews and commentary on the list and how technology is changing how thieves steal vehicles in Canada. Mr. Gast comes to IBC after years of law enforcement service in Ontario.

Background

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 128,000 Canadians, contributes $9.4 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

Mobile Phone Insurance Ecosystem Market Size | Incredible Possibilities

Source: All Times Tech

The research report presents a deep review of the Global Mobile Phone Insurance Ecosystem Market comprises of objectives analysis. The following segment centers around Mobile Phone Insurance Ecosystem market size, country-wise production revenue ($) and development rate estimation from 2019-2024.

The report additionally covers global Mobile Phone Insurance Ecosystem market share by industry players, product and applications. The report enables investors to evaluate the market, featuring the upcoming business opportunities, mindful of Mobile Phone Insurance Ecosystem industry news and arrangements by countries, technological development, limitations and difficulties in estimate years (2019-2024) and settle on a fundamental business decision.

Get Sample PDF of Report @ https://www.researchkraft.com/request-sample/973505

The key players covered in this study:

Allianz Insurance, AmTrust International Underwriters, Assurant, Asurion, Aviva, Brightstar Corporation, Geek Squad, GoCare Warranty Group, Apple, AIG

Market Segment by Type, the product can be Split into:

  • wireless carriers
  • insurance specialists
  • device OEMs
  • retailers

Market Segment by Application, Split into:

  • Physical Damage
  • Theft & Loss
  • Others

The Global Mobile Phone Insurance Ecosystem statistical surveying report studies the presence of the top to bottom market segments. The market is surveyed based on revenue (USD Million) and presents the significant players and providers affecting the market. Most of the Mobile Phone Insurance Ecosystem data, together with anticipated insights, is introduced in the report with the assistance of tables and figures and Mobile Phone Insurance Ecosystem introduction procedure causes the client to comprehend the market situation.

Get a discount on this research report @ https://www.researchkraft.com/check-discount/973505

Mobile Phone Insurance Ecosystem Market Regional Analysis Includes:

Americas, United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, APAC, China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, India, Australia, Europe, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Russia, Spain, Middle East & Africa, Egypt, South Africa, Israel, Turkey, GCC Countries

The Mobile Phone Insurance Ecosystem report additionally forecasts global market growth, alongside characterization dependent on geographical conditions. The regions are delegated with information which is outfitted in the release of the global Mobile Phone Insurance Ecosystem market growth is consistently assembled from reliable industries for anticipating the advancement of each section.

Major Points Covered in Table of Contents:-

  1. Scope of the Report
  2. Executive Summary
  3. Global Mobile Phone Insurance Ecosystem Market by Players
  4. Mobile Phone Insurance Ecosystem Industry by Regions
  5. Americas
  6. APAC
  7. Europe
  8. Middle East and Africa
  9. Market Drivers, Challenges and Trends
  10. Marketing, Distributors and Customer
  11. Global Mobile Phone Insurance Ecosystem Market Forecast
  12. Key Players Analysis
  13. Research Findings and Conclusion

Daisy Intelligence Raises $10 Million in Funding to Scale Its AI Platform

Source: Business Wire

TORONTO — Daisy Intelligence today announced that it has raised $10 million (CDN) in Series A financing led by Framework Venture Partners and partnered by European-based corporate investor, Sonae IM. The funding will enable Daisy to expand globally, invest in sales and marketing, provide further support for its customer success teams, and expand its operational infrastructure as growth demands.

Daisy’s AI-powered technology platform helps retailers and insurance companies generate significantly improved financial results by delivering business recommendations and automating complex processes beyond human capability.

Daisy is driving a revolution in retail with its core AI SaaS platform, adding intelligence and automation to merchandising decisions. Daisy has helped its retail clients increase year over year, same store sales an average of 2.9% by optimizing their promotional product and pricing mix. Insurance companies use Daisy’s AI-powered risk management platform to detect and avoid millions of dollars in fraud and automatically adjudicate claims.

Daisy’s proprietary AI technology, which uses reinforcement learning, is attracting a rapidly growing client base across the U.S., Canada, Latin America, and Europe based on a record of proven business results. Over the past year, Daisy has doubled its revenues and staff by adding new clients and further deepening existing relationships with leading retailers and insurance companies.

“This financing round reflects the growing interest in our AI-powered platform from companies around the world looking to drive higher sales and profits with our unique technology that helps them make business decisions,” said Gary Saarenvirta, founder and CEO of Daisy. “This investment supports Daisy’s mission to empower people to achieve their best by using machine intelligence to help them with the most difficult tasks, freeing up their time to focus on more strategic business matters. With support from the world-class investors at Framework and Sonae IM, we are incredibly well positioned to execute on our vision.”

A preeminent authority on AI, Saarenvirta leveraged his background in aerospace engineering to bring autonomous machine intelligence based on reinforcement learning to clients in retail and insurance.

“There is a lot of vaporware and broken promises in the AI startup landscape,” said Peter Misek, Founding Partner at Framework Venture Partners. “After meeting hundreds of startups, Daisy was the first we met where we felt the promise could be delivered.”

The investment in Daisy is one of the first from Toronto-based Framework Venture Partners’ new $150 million fund focused on supporting rapidly scaling tech companies in Canada and abroad. Framework invests in software companies with a focus on businesses re-imagining the consumption and delivery of financial services or applying artificial intelligence solutions to large industry-specific datasets.

“Daisy Intelligence attracted our attention with its distinctive AI capabilities applied to merchandising, which is definitely a crucial activity within grocery retail. As a strategic investor with a strong European foothold, we have the ambition to support the company, with every means possible, in its growth and global expansion,” said Eduardo Piedade, CEO of Sonae IM.

Sonae IM is a European-based corporate venture investor specializing in retail, telecommunications, and cybersecurity technology, with a global mandate to invest in B2B companies both in growth and early stages. In retail tech, Sonae IM currently has more than 10 active investments worldwide, with Daisy Intelligence as its first investment in Canada.

For additional information visit daisyintelligence.com.

For more information, visit http://www.framework.vc.

Sonae IM is the technology investment arm of Sonae Group (www.sonae.pt/en/).

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