Privacy is on everyone’s mind these days. Edward Snowden brought the NSA’s eavesdropping activities to light two years ago. Since then, it seems there is a new data breach or study almost weekly showing just how public our private information on the Internet really is.
Last week, the CBC reported on a study that looked at how transparent Canadian Internet Service Providers (ISP) are in disclosing the steps they take to protect your information. Unfortunately, the results were not encouraging.
The study looked at ten distinct criteria related to how the ISPs protect their customers’ privacy, including whether they inform their clients when they disclose information, if they routinely route internet traffic through the U.S. (where the NSA can easily pick it up and look at it), and do they even disclose to their clients under what circumstances they will hand over private information.
Of the major providers, only one received a passing grade (6 out of 10), and the two largest providers scored 4 and 3 out of 10.
Canada has comprehensive privacy protection statutes, but there seems to be a disconnect between the statutes and monitoring when it comes to ISPs. Studies like this one will hopefully encourage ISPs to become more responsible with their client’s private information. Until that occurs, you may want to consider carrier pigeons, or at least encrypting your more private communications.