Cyber Spam & Security

Malware and other potentially unwanted technologies exploit human behaviour and technological vulnerabilities, often to inflict harm for private gain. The end result of such destructive behaviour cannot help but erode consumer trust and confidence in the Internet as a medium for social and democratic participation and for the conduct of commerce. The Internet holds great promise for Canada's future. Malware and other potentially unwanted technologies threaten that promise.



Industry Minister Tony Clement has introduced the Electronic Commerce Protection Act, Bill C-27, offering a legislative approach to combating spam, counterfeit websites and spyware.

The term Trusted Computing refers to a computer hardware and software design paradigm pioneered by the Trusted Computing Group that aims to make personal computers more secure. The technology ensures that a computer only runs trusted software, and only communicates to other computers that are also running trusted software. Trusted Computing has the potential to increase computer security, but is also controversial because it transfers some control of a computer away from the user to a “trusted” third party.

Spyware is one of the Internet's most prevalent threats. A 2005 study conducted by Webroot found that 2/3 of personal computers were infected with spyware. Computer users are fighting programs that sneak onto their computers and surreptitiously monitor their online activities, disrupt their computer system's performance and stability, and make it difficult to remove or disable these behaviours.

There is no single definition of spam, but everyone agrees that spam is, at a minimum, unsolicited and unwanted e-mail. Whether e-mails must be transmitted in bulk or be commercial in nature in order to be considered "spam" is the subject of debate.

CIPPIC actively tracks law enforcement actions against vendors and distributors of spyware and other potentially unwanted technologies in other jurisdictions, and is involved in domestic activity focusing on Canadian wrong-doers.

Help us get a handle on the scope of the scourge in Canada! CIPPIC is calling on Canadians to send us your spyware horror stories!

Since April of 2005, CIPPIC has been an active member of the Anti-Spyware Coalition, a coalition of consumer interest advocates anti-spyware companies working together to address the problem of controlling spyware and other potentially unwanted technologies.

Regulators provide guidance on mobile privacy, tracking & advertising