Nova Scotians will have the opportunity to hear from a familiar Canadian face. Mike Duffy, host of Mike Duffy Live on CTV, will be the guest speaker at the 2008 Nova Scotia Export Achievement Awards (EAA). The awards gala will take place on Thursday, May 22, at the World Trade and Convention Centre, Halifax. Mr. Duffy is a member of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He has received numerous awards as well as three honourary degrees from the University of P.E.I., Niagara University, Niagara Falls, N.Y. and Wilfred Laurier University, Brantford, Ontario. Mr. Duffy has also been nominated twice for the Best in Business award by the Washington Journalism Review, and was selected by Chatelaine magazine as one of Canada’s 10 sexiest men. The awards, presented by Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, are designed to honour exporters’ growth, innovation, partnerships and business volume, and to recognize contributions exporters make to the economy. “Nova Scotia has been recognizing its top exporters for the past 25 years through the Export Achievement Awards,” said Peter MacKay, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency . “The annual EAA gala underlines the value our governments place on exporting, while promoting exporting to a broader audience.” Mr. Duffy has been exporting his knowledge of Canada’s political life across the country and is considered an Ottawa insider. “Mr. Duffy is an excellent addition to this year’s Export Achievement Awards,” said Stephen Lund, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. “We’re excited to have a person with Mr. Duffy’s knowledge and experience join us for this year’s event gala.” The Nova Scotia Export Achievement Awards ceremony is the province’s foremost annual exporter-recognition event, attracting more than 500 people. It showcases the successes of Nova Scotia’s talented export companies. For more information on the awards and to purchase tickets, visit www.exportachievementawards.com . Nova Scotia Business Inc. is Nova Scotia’s private sector-led business development agency. NSBI is the investment attraction arm of the province and helps businesses in Nova Scotia meet growth potential through advisory services, trade development, financing and venture capital.
Facebook Inc. user data is still showing up in places it shouldn’t.Researchers at UpGuard, a cybersecurity firm, found troves of user information hiding in plain sight, inadvertently posted publicly on Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud computing servers. The discovery shows that a year after the Cambridge Analytica scandal exposed how unsecure and widely disseminated Facebook users’ information is online, companies that control that information at every step still haven’t done enough to seal up private data.In one instance, Mexico City-based digital platform Cultura Colectiva, openly stored 540 million records on Facebook users, including identification numbers, comments, reactions and account names. The records were accessible and downloadable for anyone who could find them online. That database was closed on Wednesday after Bloomberg alerted Facebook to the problem and Facebook contacted Amazon. Facebook shares pared their gains after the Bloomberg News report.Another database for a long-defunct app called At the Pool listed names, passwords and email addresses for 22,000 people. UpGuard doesn’t know how long they were exposed, as the database became inaccessible while the company was looking into it.Facebook shared this kind of information freely with third-party developers for years, before cracking down more recently. The problem of accidental public storage could be more extensive than those two instances. UpGuard found 100,000 open Amazon-hosted databases for various types of data, some of which it expects aren’t supposed to be public.“The public doesn’t realize yet that these high-level systems administrators and developers, the people that are custodians of this data, they are being either risky or lazy or cutting corners,” said Chris Vickery, director of cyber risk research at UpGuard. “Not enough care is being put into the security side of big data.”Related Stories:Facebook suspends tens of thousands of apps in response to Cambridge Analytica rowJudge lets Facebook privacy class action proceed, calls company’s views ‘so wrong’Big tech probes could break up firms, result in huge fines, or neitherCultura Colectiva is a digital platform that posts stories about celebrities and culture and largely targets a Latin American audience. The company’s website says it creates content through data and technology and has more than 45 million followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.Facebook for many years allowed anyone making an app on its site to obtain information on the people using the app, and those users’ friends. Once the data is out of Facebook’s hands, the developers can do whatever they want with it.About a year ago, Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg was preparing to testify to Congress about a particularly egregious example: A developer who handed over data on tens of millions of people to Cambridge Analytica, the political consulting firm that helped Donald Trump on his presidential campaign. That one instance has led to government probes around the world, and threats of further regulation for the company.Last year, Facebook started an audit of thousands of apps and suspended hundreds until they could make sure they weren’t mishandling user data. Facebook now offers rewards for researchers who find problems with its third-party apps.A Facebook spokesperson said that the company’s policies prohibit storing Facebook information in a public database. Once it was alerted to the issue, Facebook worked with Amazon to take down the databases, the spokesperson said, adding that Facebook is committed to working with the developers on its platform to protect people’s data.In the Cultura Colectiva dataset, which totaled 146 gigabytes, it was difficult for researchers to know how many unique Facebook users were affected. UpGuard also had trouble working to get the database closed. The firm sent emails to Cultura Colectiva and Amazon over many months to alert them to the problem. It wasn’t until Facebook contacted Amazon that the leak was addressed. Cultura Colectiva didn’t respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment.This latest example shows how the data security issues can be amplified by another trend: the transition many companies have made from running operations predominantly in their own data centers to cloud-computing services operated by Amazon, Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc.’s Google, and others.Those tech giants have built multibillion-dollar businesses by making it easy for companies to run applications and store troves of data, from corporate documents to employee information, on remote servers.Programs like Amazon Web Services’ Simple Storage Service, essentially an internet-accessed hard drive, offer clients the choice of whether to make the data visible to just the person who uploaded it, other members of their company, or anyone online. Sometimes, that information is designed to be public-facing, as in the case of a cache of photos or other images stored for use on a corporate website.These Are the Worst Corporate Hacks of All TimeOther times, it isn’t. In recent years, information stored on several cloud services — U.S. military data, personal information of newspaper subscribers and cell phone users — has been inadvertently shared publicly online and discovered by security researchers.Amazon in the last two years has beefed up protocols to keep customers from exposing sensitive materials, adding prominent warning notices, making tools for administrators to more simply turn off all public facing items, and offering for free what was formerly a paid add-on to check a customer’s account for exposed data.“Originally I would have put a lot of this on AWS,” said Corey Quinn, who advises businesses that use Amazon’s cloud at the Duckbill Group, a consulting firm. But since Amazon has taken steps to address the issue, companies like Cultura should be aware, he said. “With all of this in the news, and all of this continuing to come out, if you’re still opening AWS buckets [to the public], you’re not paying attention.”Amazon isn’t the only company that periodically gets caught up in cases of private records mistakenly made public. But it has a wide lead in the business of selling rented data storage and computing power, putting a spotlight on Seattle-based company’s practices. An Amazon Web Services spokesman declined to comment.Bloomberg.com