When you think about the technology used to track people visually and then access databases to find out everything about them, you think of James Bond or Jason Bourne Hollywood movies. Can this stuff be done in real life? It could be getting there. I read where some big shopping malls across Canada are now using all-but-hidden cameras able to use facial-analysis recognition technology. Combine this with Statistics Canada being investigated for over-collection of data about our personal finances after requesting several banks provide the agency with the financial transaction information of hundreds of thousands of Canadians without the permission of the people beforehand. It is against the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) to collect, use or disclose personal information without first getting the individuals consent. However, this law doesn’t clarify a grey area where your picture can be captured, analyzed and deleted, all within the snap of your fingers. And, in the case of StatsCan, the agency says we should rest assured our personal financial information is carefully protected and never shared publicly. I wonder how carefully protected? Sophisticated hackers seem to be able to get into many “protected” systems so the intent may be honest but the result may not be. Whether its cameras in stores and on buildings or the Government of Canada Ottawa agency commissioned with producing statistics to help better understand Canada, I believe I have a right to my privacy unless I give my permission otherwise. I don’t want a “Big Brother” society like in so many SciFi movies.
That’s Coffeetalk. I’m Vic Dubois.