BC Online Casino did not protect users
B.C. Lotteries did not take the necessary precautions to protect the personal data of its users on its PlayNow.com online gambling site last summer. This was the conclusion reached after an investigation by B.C information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham.
The state run enterprise was launched on the 15 July 2010, but closed it down the same day due to security issues: - Hackers were able to access data on thousands of customers, including names, addresses and credit card numbers.
Denham concluded that the inquiry had “identified a number of security gaps” in the website which led to the security issues, meaning that the protection of personal customer information was not secure. The flaws included an inadequate system to control malicious code, and the transmission of personal information over unencrypted email. The report also identified over a hundred “data crossovers” that allowed players to view personal information on other customers.
The report made recommendations to the BCLC on how to improve site security, and according to Denham, the site is now taking the required precautions with personal data on customers. She warned however that online gaming “attracts the attention of organised crime” and that such groups would exploit any holes in the site’s security measures.
The BCLC is popular with British Columbians, with 80% participating in at least one game in the past year.