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Privacy protection a make-or-break issue for Canadian cannabis users and retailers, according to new report


Mach1

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VANCOUVER—As cannabis legalization approaches, Canadian consumers say cybersecurity tops the list of “must-haves” in a legal market, according to a new report from Deloitte.

The report, which looks at a wide range of consumer behaviours and preferences related to the cannabis market, shows one-third of cannabis consumers would prefer to purchase pot online.

Cybersecurity tops the list of concerns Canadian have over purchasing cannabis in a legal market, according to a new report that suggests online security could be the sink-or-swim issue for pot producers.

Cybersecurity tops the list of concerns Canadian have over purchasing cannabis in a legal market, according to a new report that suggests online security could be the sink-or-swim issue for pot producers.

Assurances of online privacy are cited as their No. 1 concern.

“Mature, robust data management, privacy protection and cybersecurity for their e-commerce business is the most important feature,” reads the report, adding highly-publicized privacy breaches in recent years are likely one significant driver for this desire.

“As well, cannabis consumers are likely to want to ensure their consumption isn’t made public because of the potential for (damage to their personal or professional reputation).”

Marijuana is already the most common substance found in workplace drug testing, according to an article in the Canadian Journal of Addiction.

And while a study from the Human Resources Professionals Association found that many employers are concerned about how a projected increase in cannabis use might impact workplace productivity and safety post-legalization, the same study found only 11 per cent of employers had any policy in place to address cannabis use.

The Deloitte report suggests this landscape of uncertainty regarding how cannabis use will affect employment is at least partly behind consumers’ concerns for privacy protection.

The report also notes that even in-store pot buyers “will be sharing personal information with retailers, such as allowing their ID to be scanned at point-of-sale terminals and their image captured on security cameras.” Cybersecurity will therefore be as much of a concern for brick and mortar retailers as for online operations.

Jennifer Lee, national cannabis sector leader for Deloitte, told StarMetro customer reaction to data breaches in the traditional retail sector — such as Hudson’s Bay Co.’s announcement in April its records of customer debit and credit card data had been compromised — demonstrate how critical this particular issue will be in the early days of legalization.

“This is an area in which we cannot fail,” she said. “If we do, public confidence is going to wane.”

The biggest expected change in consumer behaviour, said Lee, will be from “less-frequent” users, who tend to be younger and better educated. This demographic is poised to increase the frequency of their pot purchases by 121 per cent after legalization, with a nearly 70 per cent boost in average total spending.

But those users, suggested Lee, need to be shown that their personal information will be protected if recreational cannabis retailers are to have any hope of increasing and retaining customers.

The cost of data breaches can also be crippling. A recent report from the Kaspersky Lab in Massachusetts found the average cost of a data breach for a small or mid-size business topped $120,000 (U.S.) in 2018 — up 36 per cent from the previous year.

Legacy retailers, Lee said, were able to adjust to the risks of a digital retail economy only with “heavy lifting.” A brand-new cannabis market, she said, couldn’t afford to take the same hits as legacy retail giants.

“It’s not a sin to be hacked,” she added. “It’s a sin to not be proactive and manage it well.”

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straycat19
5 hours ago, DonyMach1 said:

“It’s not a sin to be hacked,” she added. “It’s a sin to not be proactive and manage it well.”

 

If that is what she really said and is not misquoted then she is an idiot.  How does one manage hacking well?  Anything created/developed/programmed by a human can be hacked/cracked by a human.  If people haven't realized it yet, there is no cybersecurity, if  you are online then your information is stored in someone's database somewhere.  If you purchase something using a credit card a record of that transaction is available at your credit card company, if you buy a house or car on time the bank/loan company has a record of it, and all these companies provide your information to the four credit reporting bureaus which have data on all your accounts.  If you want to be absolutely secure you never use a credit card online, never finance a car or house, and only pay cash for everything you buy.  Even using a check opens you up to having your information hacked since now the place you wrote it has a copy of all your information including bank account number and routing number which can be used to empty your account.  Unfortunately 99.9% of all human beings are subject to being hacked because they don't care.  The same people who complain about security will go use a credit card to buy a cup of coffee, their gas, pay their bills, buy their supper, etc just creating a larger digital footprint and point of entry to have their data hacked.

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