Canada’s Digital Leadership to Create a Safer Connected Future for all
By Mark Buell, Regional Bureau Director for North America at Internet Society
Canada’s concerted effort to fuel an innovation-based economy over the last few years is starting to pay off.
Hefty federal investments into universal connectivity initiatives, innovation hubs and programs to boost digital skills nationwide are carving out a promising path for Canada to emerge as a global tech contender.
With the upcoming the Consumers International Summit in Portugal next month set to focus on how to put consumers needs first when it comes to digital innovation, Canada’s revolutionary approach to secure the Internet of Things (IoT) is definitely brag-worthy.
Billions of devices coming online each year. The Information and Communications Technology Council predicts Canada could see up to $26 billion into its economy and 82,000 by 2030 once it upgrades to the 5G communications infrastructure on which the IoT industry will thrive.
For all of the potential benefits of transitioning into smart cities and homes, there are also risks to our privacy and security online. Recognizing this, the Internet Society and the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED) convened a multistakeholder process in April 2018 to develop a broad-reaching policy on IoT security.
They teamed up with Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) and CANARIE to serve as the oversight committee to organize the project.
Over the last year, the Canadian Multistakeholder Process: Enhancing IoT Security worked with people from all areas of expertise to help shape what sound policy could look like when it comes to securing the connected devices we’re buying. The group’s final meeting on April 18 in Ottawa will explore recommendations of its working groups on network resilience, device labeling, and consumer education.
This is a great example of how we are stronger together than we are apart. The Government of Canada showed great foresight in choosing to work with an inclusive group of people of diverse backgrounds. As a result, the project was able to cover more ground and create richer, informed recommendations on how build a secure connected future for all Canadians.
Other countries have already taken notice of Canada’s digital leadership. Representatives from France and Senegal, among several others, have consulted with the Internet Society on how to create similar multistakeholder approaches to secure IoT based on Canada’s model.
While Canada’s success is definitely worth celebrating, the real work has just begun.
Once the recommendations report is finalized, the multistakeholder group will seek members to form a volunteer committee of IoT security leaders to put the recommendations into action. I look forward to sharing more details about this on the IoT in Canada panel on May 9 at the IoT613 conference in May.
In the meantime, you can join us on April 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa to learn more about the group of digital innovators about to lead a nation-wide initiative to build a safer connected future for Canada. Register here.
Already convinced to sign up for the action committee? Contact Katie Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org.