Facebook Scolds Canada

Canadian regulators said that Facebook’s weak privacy protection was to blame for millions of users’ data being exposed.

Canadian privacy commissionaire said that Facebook broke national and provincial regulations when it came to sharing user data with third parties.

Facebook flat-out refused to agree with the Canadian government’s legal findings and refused audits of its privacy procedures.

Daniel Therrien, The Privacy Commissioner of Canada, told New York Times:

“They told us outright that they do not agree with our legal findings. I find that absolutely untenable that a company can tell a regulator that it does not respect its findings.”

Therrien said that they will be taking Facebook to Canadian federal court but he acknowledges that even if Facebook is found guilty due to Canadian law system , it might only be fined few thousand dollars.

Facebook was not happy with Therrien’s announcement and released the following statement:

“After many months of good-faith cooperation and lengthy negotiations, we are disappointed. There’s no evidence that Canadians’ data was shared with Cambridge Analytica, and we’ve made dramatic improvements to our platform to protect people’s personal information.”

While Canada might impose penalties against Facebook in the future there are most likely be puny when compares to up to $5 billion dollars that might be imposed against them by Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations.

Therrien said he is not happy with a current system and is worried because some 622,000 Canadians may have been affected by personal data exposure. Therrien said that he wants better privacy laws in Canada as well as a way for regulators penalize companies.

Canada never adopted stiff penalties like many other European countries.

Uber in Canada Wants You To Be Safe

Uber is in the news a lot lately due to passengers’ major safety issues. To counter image that Uber is unsafe, Uber has decided to launch in-app safety feature that will be rolled out in Canada and USA first.

So why is Uber launching this safety feature now? Because a lot of Uber app users do not check the car they are getting into and can end up in a dangerous situation.

In Toronto just recently female passenger got into a vehicle she thought was her Uber – but ended up in a wrong vehicle and got sexually assaulted.

According to Toronto Police’s investigation into a sexual assault in the Royal York Road and Evans Avenue area. Police said that a 21-year-old woman entered a black SUV driven by a man, the man drove her away from Toronto not allowing her to exit the SUV , he took her to a fast food restaurant parking lot in Mississauga , the woman tried to get assistance from a bystander , he then drove her to a secluded side street , he sexually assaulted her , The woman was dropped off later that morning, she then contacted police.

In South Carolina – same thing happened – student got into a wrong car – and was discovered murdered shortly. Police there said that they believe South Carolina student entered a wrong vehicle that was not her Uber.

Uber’s new Check your ride initiative launched the following educational video to remind Uber users to be careful:


Uber reminds people to match the car model and license plate with the information in the app and recommends you follow the following three steps:

  1. Match the license plate number
  2. Match the car make and model
  3. Check the driver’s photo

Uber also recommends you use Follow My Ride feature. This new feature allows you to inform people on your whereabouts.

Downloading Illegally in Canada? It Can Cost You

Hollywood studios have found a new way to track down and sue illegal downloaders in Canada. Canadian government and Canadian courts are fine with it. Your ignorance will not be taken into an account.

Movie studios have started sending registered mail to houses and apartments associated with an IP of people illegally downloading movies and TV shows.

The notice states that Canadian Internet provider has notified Hollywood studios of your illegal downloads and that you have been found downloading illegal content. Studios are fed up with all the illegal downloads so they have found a way to track down users due to the location of IP address and how it is registered with your Internet provider.

The worst thing you can do is to ignore the notice, as the default judgement most likely will result in $5,000 fine. After getting the judgement the movie studios can come after your salary or can put a lien against your house.

Recently passed Copyright Modernization Act allows service providers to provide updates to the owner of the content the list of users who have downloaded their content illegally.

This is what the letter you might receive will look like. Most users report not getting any warnings from their ISP but just getting this letter in a mail.

Once again, you will want to file a defense within 30 days or the judgement will rendered automatically against you.

Why risk it? In Canada, you can watch HBO for example, through channels like Crave, which costs $20 a month and includes HBO and Showtime. $20 a month sure sounds like a better deal than $5,000 for one illegal download.

Spotify Users in Canada Can Get Free Google Home Mini

UPDATE – IS Spotify promotion still running? Unfortunately it seems they have run out of free Google Home Minis and quietly rolled back their promo. Offer seems no longer available, even though Spotify promised to run promo until May 9. Sorry.


In order to attract more users Spotify in Canada is giving out free Google Home Mini to their premium members. Google Home Mini is a smart speaker with the Google Assistant built in. It is currently listed in Google Store at $79 Canadian dollars plus taxes.

This is a new promo Spotify launched and will run till May 9th 2019 until supplies last. It is only available to premium users’ accounts.

Good thing is even if you are not a member yet – the free giveaway is eligible to new or existing premium users.

Spotify mentions that you need to follow the following rules to apply: “One device redemption code per account. CA only. Shipping & handling by Google: a Google account and Google-approved form of payment required to redeem a device. Offer available until May 9, 2019, or while supplies last. Devices must be redeemed by May 31, 2019. Trial users not eligible.”

Please note if you have premium family or student plans – this free give away will not work. This really upset a lot of Spotify users across Canada:

The best thing also is that Google will ship the unit to you across Canada for free.

To apply just head over to Spotify Canada Promo page.

Demand for free Google Home Mini is high so when reserving you might get a message: Demand has been very high, so it might take a few days for your device to become available! We’ll email you when it’s ready.

But once you are good to go, you will get an email asking what colour you want and where to ship it. Good luck!

Montreal French Quebecor Violated CRTC Regulations

Update: CRTC said that during disputes – it is illegal for channel owners to just switch off their signal and owners should be penalized. Quebecor, Pierre Karl Péladeau, said that he does not recognize CRTC authority. Bell said that Quebecor license should be suspended immediately and for duration of hockey playoffs. CRTC said that it will announce its ruling soon.


Quebecor, communications company based in Montreal, founded by pro Quebec separatist Pierre Péladeau, has run afoul of CRTC, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, regulations.

Quebecor blocked TVA Sports signal to Bell TV subscribers. TVA Sports is what a lot of French speaking subscribers use to watch their sports in French. Bell as well as CRTC called this action as illegal.

CTV News

The Quebecor started blocking the channel on the night when hockey playoffs have begun and irritated a lot of Bell users who watch TVA Sports.

Quebecor said that the reason for cutting the channel is because it does not believe Bell is paying it enough for their specialty channels and wants more money from Bell.

Bell said that customers affected by the blockage can watch “Sportsnet, Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 360 at no extra cost.”

CRTC threaten Quebecor saying it is “ready to use the means at its disposal to enforce its regulation” and wants Quebecor to resume TVA Sports to Bell subscribers as per contract immediately.
Patricia Valladao, CRTC spokesperson, “We take this issue very seriously and are taking steps to protect Canadians,”

Quebecor in its defense said in a press release:

“Quebecor regrets having to take this action, but given the current obsolete regulatory framework, the survival of specialty channels is at stake.

We’re talking about a commercial business dispute. It’s unfortunate that fans are caught in the middle.”

Canadian Govt Eyes Regulating Facebook, Other Tech

The Canadian government said it might start regulating social media and other tech companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon and Twitter in Canada soon.

Minister of Democratic Institutions, Karina Gould, mentioned that she thinks that Canadians are fed up with tech giants and want the government to do something about it.

Gould’s announcement is coincided with many other countries attempts at cracking down on social media.

Recently countries like UK and Australia passed a very stringent laws against social medias. Most of these laws cover how the social media should handle “online harms” and how expeditiously they suppose to take it down. In Australia for example if content is not removed fast enough, Facebook execs could face jail time.

Taylor Owen, an associate professor at McGill, in his interview with The Toronto Star, mentioned that government has to tread carefully as te government starts to introduce new restrictive laws.

“We better get the democratic governance right if we have any hope of pushing back against the autocratic model.”

Taylor Owen, an associate professor at McGill

Mark Zuckerberg is founder and chief executive of Facebook, agrees with the notion in his op-ed in Wall Street Journal.

I believe we need a more active role for governments and regulators. By updating the rules for the Internet, we can preserve what’s best about it — the freedom for people to express themselves and for entrepreneurs to build new things — while also protecting society from broader harms.

From what I’ve learned, I believe we need new regulation in four areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive, Facebook

Spokesman for Google said no matter what they will continue working with the government to “protect Canada’s democratic institutions and election activities.”

Toronto Drug Dealer To Pay $1.9m Bitcoin To Ontario

The largest Canadian bitcoin bust happened this week. Toronto court ordered a drug dealer to pay $1.9m bitcoin found on his computer to the province.

Superior Court Justice Jane Kelly ruled that way due to the fact that Matthew Phan, local drug dealer, used the money to buy guns and drugs.

Phan did not agree with that assessment saying that only a part of that $1.9m bitcoin was used to buy drugs and guns but another large chunk was legitimately used to buy and sell gold and trade it on various exchanges.

Judge Kelly said in her statement to The Toronto Star:

“There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that Mr. Phan was using the dark markets to purchase illegal items such as firearms and silencers. It is clear from the evidence found during searches, particularly of his condominium unit, that he was conducting a large sales operation of illegal narcotics.

It is a reasonable inference to draw that payment for such illegal narcotics sales was made using Bitcoin that was found in the digital wallet on Mr. Phan’s computer”

Superior Court Justice Jane Kelly

Judge Kelly said that even though Phan has to forfeit $1.9m in bitcoin she was not completely convinced that the other $50,000 of bitcoin they found was used for crime, and Phan can get to keep that amount.

Bitcoin has recently climbed from $4,500 to $6,500 per bitcoin.