What’s Wrong With Digital ID?
Recently, while shopping with one of my grandchildren, I was faced with the ubiquitous question, “May I have your email address?” I promptly responded that I would take a paper receipt, please. My grandson suggested that I treat my e-mail address like a top secret document. Later, as I squawked about a video gaming company that required me to let them store my credit card info, I was again reminded that I was out of touch.
When I received appointment info from my doctor through an Ontario Health program and received the results of a test, I initially thought, “This is cool,” until I added it to the other information that was being held on me. My husband’s fishing license, our health records, driver’s license, and the list goes on.
I went onto my banking app, and it notified me that I had withdrawn more than usual from my account. There was an average of how much I’d spent on shopping, entertainment and groceries so far this month; a notice that there may not be sufficient room on my online credit card for the automated activities they were expecting; and so much more.
A year ago, Canadians discovered that if we disagree politically with our government and have the gall to speak out about it, the bank can freeze the funds in our accounts, preventing us from eating, heating our homes, paying our rent, etc. We also discovered that the government had been tracking our locations during the lockdowns.
I enjoy watching shows like FBI where you watch them find a person through facial recognition, track him as he walks along the street, find out his employment info, and eventually catch the criminal, of course. Did you know that the RCMP have confirmed that they use cellphone surveillance devices? That’s old news!
But, are you starting to feel the depth of the problem? Do you feel the government’s eyes boring into your life? Can you feel the presence of the corporations who are storing your personal information and sifting through your private affairs? At one time, many of us would have called this a conspiracy theory but aren’t you starting to wonder?
As I stare into the biometric identifier on my phone, it authorizes the phone to open; it automatically inputs my passwords as needed; I’ve been warned that my trusted iPhone can pass my personal and financial information to those nefarious people using devices to monitor this unsuspecting person’s cell phone. I’m sure that you’ve also been warned.
We are still in the early stages of what a digital ID can do, but we are seeing the abuses, such as government freezing of accounts, as well as its legitimate use such as allowing your doctor ready access to your medical information.
There are some questions that we need to ask.
“Who should have access to our personal information?”
Each person needs to be able to protect his or her own personal information. It is their private property and identity as a person. Currently, businesses can buy information about us, hack information about us, harvest information about us and store information about us.
The present method of multi-level: monitoring, tracking, capturing, storing, distribution and marketing of a person’s data, is not acceptable. It is an invasion of our privacy. To add insult to injury, we don’t know what information has been gathered about us and we don’t have access to it. We innocently travel the internet without realizing the huge footprint that we leave behind.
Secondly, “How much invasion of our privacy is acceptable for the benefits that are given?”
Recently, Sick Kids Hospital, in Toronto, had their digital information captured by an organization from the “Dark Web.” Children were affected, parents were affected, everyone was shocked that these heartless people would hack a hospital and endanger children. Of course, other hospitals have also been hacked and personal information held hostage.
We are all vulnerable to having our private information stolen. Have any of us not received notice at some point that our bank records may have been compromised?
We were all shocked to find out that Tim Horton’s had been tracking the movements throughout the day of those who had downloaded the Tim Hortons App. I wonder how those people felt with the creepy eye of someone stalking them.
CHP Canada’s policy is that ALL of your personal data shall remain YOUR property to access, delete, hold private, share, sell, trade—whatever you decide to do with it.
Our policies also include your RIGHT to know and be informed as to whom, or to what, or to where, your personal information is being distributed. Your control of that information entitles you, upon cancelling your ISP service, to be provided—free of charge—with all the digital information associated with your account. Under our policies, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) would be required by law to delete all of your information, including backups. That’s consumer protection!
For policies that protect Canadians, look to CHP Canada. For policies that you can promote, join CHP Canada.
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Other Commentary by Vicki Gunn:
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- The Nonsense We Live With
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- Le gouvernement canadien est sourd aux parents
- The Canadian Government Is Deaf to Parents
- Vos papiers, s’il vous plait
- Your Papers, Please