Expert Available to Discuss Canada Post’s Cannabis Privacy Breach

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Prof. Rozita Dara, an expert on data governance, is available to discuss Canada Post’s privacy breach involving 4,500 Ontario cannabis customers.

Canada Post publicly admitted to the breach after the province’s only outlet for legal recreational marijuana notified clients alerting them to the fact that their personal information had been inappropriately accessed, according to a Toronto Star report on Nov. 7.

A professor in U of G’s School of Computer Science, Dara says that Canada Post reported the breach to the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario as per the new Canadian breach notification requirements that took effect on Nov. 1.

However, Dara says there are still unanswered questions.

“How did an unauthorized individual get access to 4,500 customers’ information?,” she asks.

The postal service issued a statement saying that someone had used its delivery tracking tool to gain access to personal information of customers of the Ontario Cannabis Store but declined to identify the information.

According to the Toronto Star report, the breach revealed delivery information such as clients’ postal code, initial of the person that received the delivery, and Canada post tracking number. 

Dara is the principal investigator of Data Management and Data Governance research program at U of G. Her research focuses on Big Data analytics, data mining, and data governance with a particular focus on applications such as privacy enhancing technologies. She is a member of the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems.

Contact: 

Prof. Rozita Dara

drozita@uoguelph.ca