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Available Expert - School board cameras still vulnerable to attack

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Queen’s University surveillance expert David Murakami Wood is available to comment on a new report regarding security breaches of cameras at a Cape Breton School. Nova Scotia’s privacy commissioner says the school cameras remain vulnerable to an attack, months after images of students were unintentionally broadcast on the internet.

“We can expect a lot more of this as we enter the age of cheap, ubiquitous cameras and other devices that are networked and ‘always on’ like voice-activated personal assistants (Alexa, Siri etc.) and in general devices that are part of the ‘Internet of Things,’” says Dr. Murakami Wood. “The big question for me, beyond the basically impossible duty to secure what are often cheaply-made devices whose operation beyond purchase is often not reliably supported by the manufacturers (as in this case), is whether such devices are actually necessary or the right answer to the problem they were introduced to solve.

“Is video surveillance really the only or best solution to deal with problems of bullying and so on? I don't think so. In many ways, it is an abdication of responsibility for dealing with the real problems, a way of saying ‘we've done something’. And as we see in this case, it is a ‘something’ that creates further problems that are as much an abuse of the rights of the people involved as problems of bullying.”

Please note Dr. Murakami Wood is only available for radio and phone interviews.

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) or Dave Rideout (613-533-6000 ext. 79648 or dave.rideout@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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Attention broadcasters: Queen’s has facilities to provide broadcast quality audio and video feeds. For television interviews, we can provide a live, real-time double ender from Kingston with HD-SDI. Please call for details.

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