The British Columbia Information and Privacy Commissioner has announced the conclusion of the investigation the British Columbia Lottery Corporations online gambling site PlayNow. British Columbia took a different approach to licensing and regulating online casinos in their area. They granted permission to their government run lottery corporation to run their own online casino. The people of British Columbia seemed pleased about it because they felt that they could trust a government run site more than a site run by the average gambling corporation.
That trust may have been misplaced. The investigation into the BCLC and the PlayNow site discovered “inadequate user access controls and maliciouscode controls, unencrypted data transmission and gaps in BCLC’s privacy management framework.” In other words, the trustworthy, government run PlayNow site didn’t provide adequate protection for the personal information of their customers. The result was that on the first day the online casino launched, 134 “data crossovers” took place and exposed the personal data of players to others on the site. This is considered to be of extra concern for an online gambling site because these are the sorts of site that attract the attention of organized crime and other who may have malicious intent. People scream when Facebook exposes their info to advertising sites and others who want to gather information about them. But gambling sites aren’t social media sites. They are sites were people risk their money. And as such, need to be able to provide players with the strongest security possible. After the BCLC report, players might wonder if the PlayNow site is able to accomplish that.