Data flights: the CAQ reassures, the opposition gets impatient

After Desjardins, Capital One. While the list of Quebecers victims of theft of personal data is growing, the government of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) calls for vigilance. The opposition parties are impatient and are asking for an urgent meeting in the National Assembly to debate this issue.
“I can not believe that we stopped worrying about important issues because it’s summer,” says Parti Québécois leader Pascal Bérubé. Having asked the Finance Committee on July 9 to hold hearings on an urgent basis, the PQ leader is surprised that MPs have not yet found time in their schedules to do so.

“This is the subject most discussed this summer by Quebecers. People are concerned. Ottawa moved quickly, but not us, “said Bérubé.

On July 15, the federal members of the Standing Committee on Public Safety summoned the President of Desjardins Group, Guy Cormier, to Ottawa to discuss the causes and consequences of the major data theft at his financial institution this spring.

A few days earlier, Quebec Premier François Legault closed the door on a scenario similar to the National Assembly, saying it was “too early” to hold a special commission on the subject.

Mr. Bérubé believes that members should hear the explanations of Desjardins, but also those of Equifax and the Autorité des marchés financiers. Data theft at Capital One could expand the mandate.

“We are working hard to find a meeting date as soon as possible,” says Caprist MP Jean-François Simard, who chairs the Finance Committee. Mr. Simard indicated that the PQ’s proposal could be “enhanced or enlarged”, but warned that “in order for us to get into a special committee, it takes a strong consensus of the parties”.

Review the law

Liberal MP Marwah Rizqy also believes that “it is urgent” to deal with this issue. “We do not want to hear just Desjardins, we want to hear all financial institutions, as well as our experts in Quebec to understand the extent of the phenomenon.”

M me Rizqy hope parliamentarians will agree to work “unitedly”. “We have Quebeckers who are worried, who take steps to launder their credit report after identity theft. If they are not on vacation, we are not on vacation. ”

“These repetitive scandals have a serious impact on people’s trust. […] It is time to sound the end of recess and to bring our regulatory framework in the XXI th century to better protect the citizens of fraudsters, “believes the MP for his solidarity Alexandre Leduc.

Québec Solidaire is calling on the government to quickly review the Act respecting the protection of personal information in the private sector and the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information, which date from 1993 and 1982. In the end June, the party also asked that the Committee on Institutions address this issue.

In action

Commission or not, the delegate Minister for Digital Transformation, Eric Cairo, argues that his government is already “in action” to strengthen the cybersecurity of the data it has. “In the meantime, I have to move forward.”

Mr. Cairo indicates that he has today the opportunity “to learn from the mistakes of others”. “You have to avoid having a false sense of security. Capital One and Desjardins teach us that the danger is sometimes in our systems, in our own employees, “he says.

The Liberal Party wants the government to put on the ice its plan to entrust private companies with data storage. No question, replies Minister Cairo.

“We will categorize the data and those that are sensitive, about 20% of what we have, we will keep them in-house,” he says. According to him, we must instead use new technologies (block chains, artificial intelligence, etc.) to detect anomalies in data communication. For example, if they are leaked.

Finance Minister Éric Girard on Tuesday urged Quebeckers to be cautious and take the necessary measures to protect their identity. “Registration at Equifax remains an effective means of prevention for credit monitoring and preventing identity theft. We are currently evaluating all proposals for improvements for the future, “he said in writing.

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