The hacking of thousands of MyCRA accounts has resulted in the shutdown of Canada Revenue Agency’s online account tools, including applications for COVID-19 benefits.

The victims have had their direct deposit information changed, then seen emergency benefit claims made in their name.

It is a troubling reminder of the continuing vulnerability of going all-digital.

Giving Canadians peace of mind with the option of no-fee paper bills was one of the reasons the Harper Government made it the law in 2014.

Federally regulated broadcasters and telecommunications companies were required under the law to provide paper bills at no cost.

To avoid the same legislation, Canadian banks entered into a voluntary agreement to provide no-fee monthly statements and no-fee paper bills.

Last March under the Trudeau Government, right before the pandemic was declared a national emergency, the CRTC decided the law only required no service charges for paper bills, not the paper bills themselves.

Since the pandemic more and more companies have tried to move to all-digital or charging new fees or higher fees for paper bills, statements, even receipts.

This leaves Canadians increasingly vulnerable to the kinds of digital hacks we saw with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Companies should not be able to use the pandemic as an excuse to force customers to go all-digital or pay for paper.

What do you think?

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