The parties are spying on you ?

News 24 March, 2018
  • Photo Agence QMI, Simon Clark
    “To us, it does not collect data [in this way], but if a political party does, it is very worrying,” quipped Philippe Couillard.

    Antoine Robitaille

    Saturday, march 24, 2018 05:00

    Saturday, march 24, 2018 05:00

    Look at this article

    Thus, Philippe Couillard has been taken in by a kind of false news in a story about the exploitation supporter of personal data in Facebook.

    We would have wanted to write a political fiction emblematic of our times that we would have struggled to do better.

    On Thursday, the prime minister has suspected publicly two opposition parties, the CAQ and Québec solidaire, to do business with a company, Aventa, an alleged expert in the mass data.

    The day before, indeed, the one that was presented as the co-founder of Aventa, Jean-Philippe Décarie-Mathieu, had boasted, in a news report from Radio-Canada to have two political parties among its clients, in view of the elections of the 1st of October.

    But as we learned VAT, Friday, Aventa… does not really exist, and perhaps some approaches, had no customers !

    This was not a company listed in the register ; rather a research project that is entered in a competition of startups at McGill.

    Joined on Friday by the journalist François Cormier, Edward Newell, a doctoral student who was involved in it, withdrew its project from the competition, and is even separated from Aventa !

    What was wrong with being associated with Aventa ? It is suspected that they use some methods similar to those of another company, british, Cambridge Analytica, which has put Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg in trouble since Sunday.

    According to the ringer alert Christopher Wylie, Cambridge would have used the personal information of approximately 50 million individuals ; and information pumped out on Facebook, thanks to a small software type ” personality test “.

    This would have helped to focus the voters ‘ pro-Trump, and therefore favored the election of the billionaire.

    Act of faith

    All parties in Quebec were quick to claim that they did not buy personal data, and not harvested not more.

    “To us, it does not collect data [in this way], but if a political party does, it is very worrying,” quipped Philippe Couillard.

    “The data that we have, are the data that we have accumulated we-same “, insisted for his part, François Legault. Québec solidaire and the Parti québécois say roughly the same thing.

    It must be the word, all, which is never a good deal. In our business, we don’t like acts of faith.

    Already undermined, the credibility of our political parties would take a serious blow if a Christopher Wylie québécois came to contradict it by showing that they are doing the same.

    The thin line

    Of course, we can not blame to the political parties to collect data about their supporters and the voters in general.

    It is precisely their business, that could be described as “democratic,” taking the pulse of the people and try to respond to what he wants, demands, requires.

    If they collect what people freely post on Facebook or elsewhere (in on-line petitions, for example), it may be acceptable, although it remains non-consensual.

    It is a contemporary version of the ancient “tally” and they escape, moreover, the application of the law on the protection of personal information in the private sector.

    But there is a difference between “digital data” freely published and ” personal data “, which are not intended to be shared. A border very tenuous too…

    The Director general of elections, by the voice of his spokesman, said Wednesday the Duty that it was “concerned” by the establishment of data banks by the political parties, especially if the data have been collected without consent. It proposes reforms.

    The subject is complex, and this may explain, for example, the charge of unskilful of the prime minister.

    But we sound the alarm here and there for nearly 20 years about the potential adverse impact of digital technology on privacy. It is 2018 and our laws pre-date the public internet. Look for the error !


    The book of the week

    Discomfort Hydro

    Photo Agence QMI, Simon Clark

    Natural Resources minister Pierre Moreau

    The natural Resources minister, Pierre Moreau, said on 21 February that the hydrogen was an opportunity for Québec. We could become ” producers of clean hydrogen and export it anywhere in the world.” Very interesting. The parliamentary Bureau of the Journal has therefore made a request for access from Hydro-Québec in order to obtain ” any report, study, etc, which explores the possible impacts of the modes of transportation to hydrogen (hydrogen cars) on the activities of Hydro-Québec “. Response of the corporation ? She said that she was “abreast of developments” in this area. “However, we have currently no report or paper dealing with the possible impacts of the modes of transport to hydrogen on our activities “. Paradoxical, is it not ?

    Making ” stuff “

    Photo Agence QMI, Toma Iczkovits

    The co-spokesperson of Québec solidaire, Manon Massé

    It would have been enough of a ” b “pronounced as an” F ” and Manon Massé would have really created a commotion in the Salon bleu of the national Assembly, Wednesday. The QSiste wished to denounce a draft law adopted Monday, which is tightening access to information in Quebec by prohibiting the publication of the “communications” of a minister with other members of the government. The mp recalled that Philippe Couillard had promised of forming the government the most transparent in history. But the minister in the minister, the reform of the law of access has been postponed to the Greek calends. His conclusion : “The groups of citizens, protection of consumers, protection of the environment, journalists, in short, we made stuff. “‘STUFF “, she said ” stuff “.

    Gendron cartesian

    Photo Agence QMI, Simon Clark

    Vice-president of the national Assembly, François Gendron

    The president, Jacques Chagnon was still missing this week. On Tuesday, he was replaced by the colorful vice-president of the national Assembly, François Gendron. However, on this day, the presidency had promised to make an important decision. Mr. Gendron explained that he would have to wait until the return of Mr. Chagnon. He tried to explain that the latter considered it very important to make the decision himself, in short, that this is not a vice-president who is in charge. The leader of the government, Jean-Marc Fournier, appeared much displeased on account of the parliamentary calendar, which will be upset by the budget Tuesday, and the Easter holidays to the end of the week. Mr. Gendron, almost speechless, touched by the arguments of Mr. Fournier, “a phrase of inspiration cartesian :” I know, that I am now, I know that I’m here ! “