#CyberFLASH: Canadian retailers need to shake their computer security complacency


The term “buyer beware” used to mean that you might regret the purchase you were about to make. Now it basically serves as a warning that no matter where you shop, your personal data may be at serious risk.

This week, following the recent high-profile computer security attacks at Target, Nordstrom and other major U.S. merchants, the Retail Industry Leaders Alliance based in Arlington, Va. announced the formation of a council that will focus on cybersecurity issues and a push for better laws to notify consumers when an attack occurs. In Canada, meanwhile, major Canadian retailers announced … nothing.

Part of the problem, according to Toronto-based security and privacy consultant Claudiu Popa, is that Canada has been ahead of the U.S. in some areas, like our adoption of chip and PIN technology on credit and debit cards. The U.S. is still largely a mag-stripe market (though the retail association hopes to change that soon).

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