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Advancing a Cybersecure Canada:
Introducing the Cybersecure Policy Exchange

June 2020

Advancing a Cybersecure Canada: 
Introducing the Cybersecure Policy Exchange



Charles Finlay

Karim Bardeesy

Karim Bardeesy


Yvonne Su


  • Sumit Bhatia
  • Zaynab Choudhry
  • Charles Finlay
  • Braelyn Guppy
  • Mohammed (Joe) Masoodi
  • Jon Medow
  • Kate Pundyk
  • Oliver Sheldrick



Executive Summary

Canadians are facing unprecedented attacks on their digital security and privacy, and new threats continue to emerge. Our new research finds that a majority (57%) of Canadians report being the victim of a cybercrime.

As the technological landscape is rapidly changing, there is an urgent need to address the security and privacy risks and vulnerabilities facing Canadians online. To do so, our governments, our public and private institutions, and all Canadians, must demonstrate leadership, to ensure that we create and implement balanced public policy that will drive innovation while responsibly protecting Canadians.

That’s why we launched the Cybersecure Policy Exchange (CPX). The goal of CPX is to broaden and deepen the debate and discussion of cybersecurity and digital privacy policy in Canada, and to create and advance innovative policy responses, from idea generation to implementation.

We are launching our CPX agenda with this report, which includes the results of a representative survey of 2,000 Canadians conducted in mid-May 2020. The survey sought to understand Canadians’ experiences, choices and priorities toward their cybersecurity and digital privacy. In this report, we share some of our findings on three high-impact technologies that will be the immediate focus of the CPX agenda:

Social Media Platforms: What policy changes are needed to ensure that social media platforms uphold the privacy and security standards that Canadian citizens and businesses expect?

  • Just 15% of Canadians trust Facebook to keep their data secure.

Internet of Things (IoT): How should government and industry share responsibility to ensure the safety and security of all Canadians and Canadian businesses using physical devices connected to the Internet?

  • 68% of Canadians have at least one smart device in their home.

Biometrics: How can policy change protect the privacy and security of Canadians in the deployment of biometric technologies, like facial recognition?

  • 41% of Canadians are uncomfortable with being captured by camera-enabled doorbells like Amazon’s Ring, with 15% supporting a ban on these products.