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Edmonton man could see private data of other Brinks customers through his home security system — for months
An Edmonton man was surprised to find he could see the private information of other Brinks home security customers through the Brinks system in his house. He was even more surprised it took Brinks months to fix it, even after he repeatedly called to alert them.
Andrew Kopp — a systems architect for a telecommunications company — had added a little extra home security when, in October 2021, he signed a 36-month contract for a Brinks system.
He told CBC's Go Public he signed into his system's online portal "and that's when I noticed that I had a drop-down [menu] to select a whole bunch of addresses." There on his screen were approximately 100 other customers' addresses.
Every click of the mouse revealed more of someone else's information: name, address, phone number, emergency contacts and account payment history. Kopp could even view specific things about other customers' home security systems, like security equipment details and locations of security zones within their homes. "I wanted to know whether my data was compromised in the same way," Kopp said.
That remains unclear. Though Kopp did not see his own details on the screen, Brinks has not notified any of the customers who were affected by the leak, which went unfixed for months.
It wasn't until mid-September, after multiple calls, that Kopp saw that it seemed to be fixed. He estimates he was able to access other customers' data for seven to ten months. Ann Cavoukian, a former three-term privacy commissioner of Ontario, says it was both a privacy and a security breach.
"It allows people to potentially break into your home and into your information online," she said. "Identity theft could result."
WATCH | Glitch allowed Kopp to see private data:
Brinks declined an interview request from Go Public. In a statement, the company said the agent on a July call, who worked for a third party, "did not follow the proper protocols and procedures" for when a customer asks for a problem to be escalated. "We have since reinforced our protocols and trainings with the representative in question to ensure compliance with our escalation procedures." It was not clear what happened after any of Kopp's previous calls.
Brinks offered no explanation for the cause of the problem, though it indicated it was an error and not the result of a hack. The company called it an "isolated issue" that leaked the data of "a small subset" of its customers. "No banking or financial information was visible," it said.
New heights for Canadian tennis
Canada's Vasek Pospisil, left, and Felix Auger-Aliassime celebrate after defeating Italy during the semifinal Davis Cup tennis doubles match between Italy and Canada in Malaga, Spain, on Saturday. Canada then defeated Australia on Sunday, winning its first-ever Davis Cup, the premier international team event in men's tennis. Read more here.
The Trudeau government this weekend unveiled its long-awaited plan to confront an "increasingly disruptive" China. The Indo-Pacific strategy describes China as a social and economic force that's too big to ignore but also increasingly focused on bending international rules to suit its own interests. Using some surprisingly blunt language, the strategy says the Canadian government needs to be "clear-eyed" about China's objectives in the Far East and elsewhere. It promises to spend almost half a billion dollars over five years on improving military and intelligence co-operation with allies in the region. At the same time, the strategy document says, "China's sheer size and influence makes co-operation necessary to address some of the world's existential pressures, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, global health and nuclear proliferation." The foreign policy blueprint mirrors the approaches taken by its closest allies, including the United States. Read more here.
WATCH | Liberals unveil strategy for dealing with China:
Protests unprecedented under the rule of Xi Jinping sprang up across China in recent days against heavy COVID-19 measures, in the only major country not treating the coronavirus as endemic. Shanghai authorities put up barriers on Monday around a city centre area where hundreds of people protested over the weekend. From the streets of Shanghai and Beijing to university campuses, protesters made a show of civil disobedience. "We hope to end the lockdown," said 28-year-old Shi at a candlelight vigil in Beijing late on Sunday. "We want to live a normal life. We should all bravely express our feelings." There was no sign of new protests on Monday in Beijing or Shanghai. The protests were roiling global markets early Monday, sending oil prices lower and the U.S. dollar higher, with Chinese stocks and the yuan falling sharply. Read The Associated Press's full story here.
WATCH | COVID-19 lockdown protesters in China call for president to resign:
Canada faces a massive challenge to end dependence on diesel in isolated towns and still keep the lights on. There are several renewable energy projects proposed in different parts of Nunavut, but the territory is a reminder of how much of a challenge the country faces in decarbonizing remote communities. To this day, the territory remains almost completely dependent on importing diesel for electricity and heating as part of an energy system that is unaffordable and unreliable, while also a major source of pollution. There are more than 200 remote communities in the country that aren't connected to the electricity grid. Instead, the majority rely on diesel to run a small network of power lines in the town as opposed to a larger regional grid. The federal government has a goal of eliminating diesel-powered electricity generation in remote communities by 2030, which many experts applaud, even though they say it's highly unattainable given current progress and how much infrastructure would still be needed. Read more here.
Read CBC N.L.'s new series Toxic Towns. There are as many as 5,000 contaminated sites in Newfoundland and Labrador. These sites, despite their varying levels of possible harm to nearby communities, loom large to the people who encounter them. CBC Newfoundland and Labrador visited three, each with its own legacy of contamination and its own residents fighting for justice. Today, the story of Baie Verte, where a mine that once brought prosperity now symbolizes pain, suffering and death. Read the story here.
It wasn't the goal, but at least there was a goal from Canada at the men's World Cup. Canada wasted little time Sunday ending its scoring drought but could not hold off Croatia, losing 4-1 this weekend to end its hopes of reaching the tournament's knockout round. Ranked 12th in the world and runner-up to France four years ago in Russia, Croatia rallied against the 41st-ranked Canadians. "I am disappointed in the result. It was not easy," said Alphonso Davies, who scored Canada's first-ever goal. "We did our best, we fought the entire game. We're looking forward to the next game and hopefully we get some points." The Canadians will go home after wrapping up tournament play Thursday against Morocco — which will mark their first-ever World Cup game against a non-European opponent. Read CBC's complete World Cup coverage here.
WATCH | Canadian fans pick new teams to root for after loss to Croatia:
Now here's some good news to start your Monday: Canada is leading the way on health care for astronauts — and it will be used here on Earth, too. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is working to develop technology to be used in space to help astronauts stay as safe as they possibly can, including a portable MRI machine and an AI-powered virtual medical assistant. "We're thinking of when astronauts spend a longer period of time on the moon and get ready to go to Mars they will need to increase their capacity to take care of their own health, to be self-reliant when it comes to health care," said Annie Martin, the Health Beyond portfolio manager at the CSA. "But as we get ready for those missions, we're looking to apply what we're learning, what we're developing for Canadians, improving access to health care, and more specifically, we think of medically isolated communities." Read more here.
Opinion: Rachel Notley, Danielle Smith and Alberta's huge political gender gap
Women in Alberta are far more likely to back the NDP than the United Conservative Party this year, while men are split. Poll numbers show how much leadership matters on this, writes Melanee Thomas, an associate professor of political science at the University of Calgary. Read the column here.
First Person: I'm sober but live in a drinking town. Dating is complicated
How do people get to know each other without meeting for a drink? How was I ever going to have a first kiss with someone new without a little liquid courage? Robyn Schleihauf has been sober for three years, and these are some questions she grapples with as she looks for a relationship in a community where drinking is ubiquitous. Read the column here.
Front Burner: Breaking down the final arguments of the Emergencies Act inquiry
After six weeks, testimony at the Emergencies Act inquiry wrapped with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the hot seat. So was the government justified in using the Emergencies Act last winter? We sort through the final arguments in today's episode.
Today in history: Nov. 28
1520: Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan with his fleet of three ships reaches the Pacific Ocean after passing through the South American strait that now bears his name.
1979: New York Islanders goalie Billy Smith becomes the first NHL netminder credited with scoring a goal. Colorado defenceman Rob Ramage put the puck into his own net and television replay revealed that Smith was the last Islander to touch it.
2002: Roy Romanow's Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada recommends a $15-billion cash infusion by 2006 for a sweeping expansion of medicare that would stop the growth of private medicine.
2010: WikiLeaks releases more than 250,000 classified U.S. State Department documents, revealing a hidden world of backstage international diplomacy, divulging candid comments from world leaders and detailing occasional U.S. pressure tactics aimed at hot spots in Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea.
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With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters