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Securing data in 'digital wallet' needs to be priority: expert

Ontario is expected to roll out a 'digital wallet' concept sometime in 2021
(via Shutterstock)

Imagine this: you walk into a corner store and you need your ID to make a purchase.

And the ID itself, is stored in the digital world, and can be accessed and distributed through your phone.

The Ontario government is looking to go in that direction with a "digital wallet," expected to roll out sometime in 2021.

The move is being met with some cautious optimism from the province's former Privacy Commissioner, who indicated finding a way to truly secure that sensitive data needs to be a priority.

Ann Cavoukian --- now the Executive Director for the Global Privacy & Security by Design Centre --- likes the move overall, noting everything is moving over to digital, especially nowadays in the age of COVID-19.

But she had this message for the government.

"Before you move in this direction, ensure the strongest security imaginable," she told The Mike Farwell Show on 570 NEWS.

"So much is happening now in the online world, with everybody online, phishing has gone up, data breaches, hacking is huge."

Cavoukian said if all your identifiers are digitized, and hackers compromise or outright acquire that data, it raises issues such as identity theft.

She added measures are already starting to be put in place, such as a "verified credential," and that "we're moving in the right direction."

But Cavoukian said it'll take a lot of effort and constant checks to make sure data is secure.

"In this day and age of daily hacking, if you don't have a strong foundation of security end-to-end, you're not going to have any privacy," she said.

The government is expected to meet with industry experts, starting in January 2021, to get the process started.


Mark Pare

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