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“Despite the current uncertainty in the Canadian wireless industry, Public Mobile’s strong performance and rapid growth continue to attract financial backing from blue chip investors,” said chief executive officer Alek Krstajic.

“This financing is an enormous vote of confidence in Public Mobile’s business and a significant milestone in our company’s history. The support of Thomvest and Cartesian enables Public Mobile to continue the rapid expansion of our subscriber base from a strong and well-funded position.”

Thomvest will be the controlling shareholder in the company, the three said in a statement that projects further turmoil in the sector.

“In the coming months, the Canadian wireless industry will see consolidation, and an important spectrum auction,” said Cartesian partner Paul Pizzani.

Watchdog slams law
Canada’s privacy watchdog warns today that the country "has fallen too far behind" in protection.

The Personal Information Protection and Electronics Documents Act, Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart says, is no longer up to snuff and needs to be brought into modern times.

“The protection of privacy is not child’s play,” she says.

“It demands a law that is strong and mature, nuanced and effective,” she adds in her annual report to Parliament.

“PIPEDA, conceived in another millennium, is no longer up to the task.”

Ms. Stoddart, who will soon be leaving after a decade in the job, called for an overhaul of the law, in co-operation with other countries.

“While other nations’ data protection authorities have the legal power to make binding orders, levy hefty fines and take meaningful action in the event of serious data breaches, we are restricted to a ‘soft’ approach: persuasion, encouragement and, at the most, the potential to publish the names of transgressors in the public interest … All told, stronger enforcement measures in PIPEDA would provide incentives for organizations to their responsibilities more seriously in the first place and build in privacy protections up front, knowing that the financial consequences of breach under a stronger regime could be real and significant.”

That’s not to say her group hasn’t made strides. Indeed, it has probed and settled several cases, some of them frightening.

Her report outlines how one company installed software on the laptops it was renting out. This software snooped on the users in terms of collecting data, key strokes and web cam photos. The company agreed to stop and destroy what it had already gathered.

In another case, people with sexually transmitted diseases alleged that a dating website for members with STDs was storing their information in a broader network. The companies in question agreed to make their practices more transparent.

And in yet another case cited, a teenage girl was the target of a phony Facebook account in her name. Some of her friends in the real world “friended” the fake account, which became home to a “barrage” of inappropriate remarks.

Facebook agreed to bring in new measures, Ms. Stoddart says.

She doesn’t expect such threats to ease, but rather probably expand.

“With the astonishing capability of modern computers to collect, store, manipulate and interpret data, personal information has become a red-hot commodity.”

Fiscal standings on better track
Canadian governments could get their financial houses back in order sooner than we think, which could be a plus for them come election time, one of the big banks believes.

That could mean they balance their budgets at a faster pace, or “ease up” on restraint measures, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce said today.

“Canadian governments are selling themselves short,” said economists Warren Lovely and Emanuella Enenajor.

“With ample insulation against today’s still-tepid economic climate and prospects of a more forceful 2014-15 global expansion, federal and provincial governments will enjoy some important fiscal breathing room,” they said in a new report.

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