Vertical City wants Canada’s out-of-home advertising industry to make consumer privacy front and centre.
Canada’s largest residential elevator screen company, Vertical City, has become Canada's first digital-out-of-home communication firm to receive the coveted Privacy By Design certification. With only 38% of Canadians reporting they feel businesses respect their privacy rights, the certification signals a public commitment to ensure resident privacy. It also marks a new standard of privacy care that Canadians should expect from technology companies operating in their buildings.
“Building residents, condo boards, and property managers want to know that when they bring new technology into their buildings, it has resident privacy built-in,” said Fouad El-Masri, CEO and co-founder of Vertical City. “The Privacy by Design certification gives third-party verification to all our building and advertising partners that we treat resident privacy with the utmost respect.
Developed by Dr. Ann Cavoukian, former Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Privacy by Design is a set of internationally recognized standards that builds on the premise that privacy should be embedded into the design, operation, and management of IT systems, networks, and business practices in order to prevent privacy vulnerabilities. It is now law under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and globally recognized as a privacy standard by the ISO Committee for Consumer Protection.
“It’s up to tech companies to take the lead and implement consumer-first standards within their companies, not just when they are required to do it.” said Kevin Gunderman, the Vertical City’s Privacy Officer. “We’ve developed a set of guidelines that keep it simple to understand: no tracking of personally identifiable information, no facial recognition, and no recording or storing of images/videos. All ad campaign traffic data we do collect is completely anonymous, and certified as such by Privacy by Design.”
The certification was obtained after an in-depth audit conducted by KPMG and was ultimately issued by the privacy licensing authority PECB MS. Over the next three years, the company will be subject to ongoing third-party oversight to ensure compliance.
“We think it’s the right step for us and our partners, and we hope the rest of the industry follows suit” commented El-Masri.
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