Protecting privacy with artificial intelligence


In the wake of a recent incident where personal identification numbers of several municipality residents were accidentally made publicly available, Lillestrm municipality contacted Tietoevry. To further protect its residents, they have now acquired a digital archive inspector.

We are very pleased with the Archive Inspector solution and feel that it provides an extra level of security. We feel confident that we have done everything we can to protect the privacy of our residents, says Synnve Standal, Head of the Department of Documentation in Lillestrm municipality.

The need for such measures became apparent in September 2021 when the municipality published several documents in its digital post log containing personal information about named students in the municipality. Since Lillestrm is one of about 150 municipalities in Norway using full-text publishing in their post log, anyone could read the documents for a short period of time after publishing.

The incident had a profound impact on those who work here, says Standal. The fact that the documents involved minors made the matter particularly critical. It caused us to look into solutions that could further strengthen the privacy of our residents without compromising transparency.

Artificial Intelligence

Lillestrm municipality contacted Tietoevry, which already provided post log and archive services to the municipality, to develop a solution that would prevent the accidental release of confidential information. In collaboration with the municipalities of Surnadal, Smla, and Kristiansund, they developed the 360 Archive Inspector system. The system, which is part of the Public 360 solution for documentation and case management, uses artificial intelligence to check documents for confidential information before they are published, ensuring that sensitive information is protected.

Its a perfect example of how artificial intelligence can be used to create a standardized service, saysSebastian Reichmann, Head of AI Insights at Tietoevry, Public 360.

Bjrn Tore Eriksen, Lead Product Manager at Tietoevry Industry, explains how the company uses computers to perform tasks where they outperform humans. In this case, the system excels at quickly identifying patterns in large amounts of data, he explains.

Eriksen emphasizes that the Archive Inspector solution is designed to complement the work of actual archivists, rather than replace them.

Demonstrates the potential

According to Eriksen, the Archive Inspector is an AI plug-and-play solution. Its a system that all municipalities and public entities across the country can quickly implement if they choose to do so.

The solution is standardized which makes it easily compatible for several different organizations. I think its fair to call it an AI plug-and-play solution, he explains, adding that for Public 360, this is just the beginning.

This demonstrates how artificial intelligence can be used to solve specific problems and showcases its potential. Artificial intelligence will be a focus area for us in the future, and were excited to assist existing and new customers in implementing smart AI technology, Eriksen concludes.

Speaking about her experience with the project, Standal says she is very pleased with the collaboration with Tietoevry.

Being a part of this project has been incredibly educational for us. We have worked closely with the Tietoevry team, and it has always been a positive and productive dialogue about how to solve various problems, she says.

In recent years, issues related to digitization and democracy have become increasingly prominent on the agenda, and were among the topics discussed at this years eKommune conference in April. Standal believes that the appropriate utilization of new technology can play a significant role in fostering trust between public services and residents.

The project serves as a prime example of how digital technology can be effectively utilized to ensure transparency in public administration while simultaneously safeguarding the privacy of our residents. This approach strengthens both local democracy and trust in the municipality, Standal concludes.

Romerikes Blad – Norwegian newspaper writes about it here.

Canada – Fact Sheet – Protecting Pollinators during Pesticide Spraying – Best Management Practices

(PDF Version)

5 May 2023 (amended from 2013 version)

Insect pollinators are vital to agricultural production and the environment. Many farmers use pesticides to protect their crops from insect pests, weeds and diseases. However, some pesticides are toxic to bees and other pollinators through direct contact, such as from over-spray or from pesticide drift. Residues of certain pesticides that remain on leaves, in pollen and nectar, or in water sources could also harm pollinators through ingestion and/or contact.

The following best management practices are provided to help protect bees and other insect pollinators, including honeybees, from pesticide spray applications and drift throughout the growing season.

Practice Integrated Pest Management
Practicing integrated pest management (IPM) is essential for sustainable pest control. This approach can include cultural practices to discourage pests, correct identification of the pest problem, determination that pest levels warrant pesticide treatment, and pesticide application at the lowest effective label rate.

Know where beehives are located
Communication and cooperation among growers, pesticide applicators and beekeepers on the location of beehives, type of pesticide to be applied, timing and location of spraying, and the potential for drift, can help reduce pesticide exposure to bees. For example, if spraying is planned, contact beekeepers that have beehives near the crop to be sprayed. Such communication enables beekeepers to confirm that hives are located upwind of areas to be sprayed or in shelter belts. It also helps beekeepers determine when to temporarily protect or relocate hives, when feasible.

Observe pollinator activity to minimize exposure
Honeybees forage most actively during the daytime, on sunny days, and at temperatures above 13°C. Other pollinators, such as bumblebees, may forage at temperatures below 13°C.

Pollinators visit crop and non-crop areas for nectar and pollen – including flower blooms on crops, trees, shrubs, weeds, and native vegetation. Pollinators may also be attracted to certain plants that produce nectar when not in bloom, and to the honeydew produced by many plant-sucking insects. It is therefore important to observe pollinator activity both at the application site and in the vicinity, and take the following steps to minimize pollinator exposure:

Always read and follow the pesticide label instructions.
When a pesticide label indicates it may be toxic to bees/pollinators, it is important to:

Avoid spraying when crops or weeds in the treatment area are in bloom: time applications to minimize bee exposure (for example, before flowering or after blooms have gone).
Avoid spraying when bees are foraging: spraying during the day when bees are foraging can be the most hazardous. When environmental conditions permit, apply pesticides late in the evening when most pollinators are not foraging.
Avoid spraying when bees are foraging in ground cover containing blooming weeds: (for example, in an orchard) if application is necessary, consider removing flowers before pesticide application (for example, by mowing, disking or mulching).

Monitor environmental conditions to minimize drift
Environmental conditions can contribute to spray drift, which may be hazardous to pollinators.

Check the weather forecast before application and be mindful of changing conditions.
Initiate spray operations when the wind is blowing away from beehives and pollinator-attractive habitat.
Spray during cool temperatures and high humidity.
Spray in the evening when winds are low; however, do not spray during periods of “temperature inversion” which may occur when the air mass near the ground is cooler than the air immediately above it. It typically occurs between sunset and one to two hours after sunrise, and can cause pesticides to drift unpredictably and/or be carried over large distances when winds pick up. Some useful indicators of temperature inversions are evening/early morning mist, fog, dew or frost; and smoke, dust or fog that hangs in the air and/or moves sideways without dispersing.

Use equipment that reduces drift
Minimize spray drift to areas adjacent to the application site, particularly when weeds or other plants are in bloom.

Select drift-reducing spray nozzle technology, whenever possible.
Since fine droplets tend to drift farther, apply spray at lower pressures or choose low-drift nozzles that reduce drift by producing a medium-to-coarse droplet size. Calibrate spray equipment often.
Install shrouds or cones on field sprayers to significantly reduce spray drift.
Airblast sprayers can produce finer droplets with greater drift potential. When using an airblast sprayer, consider redirecting or turning off nozzles, or use technologies that reduce drift (for example, hooded towers, wraparound, and tunnel and target-sensing sprayers).
For aerial applications, ensure that the maximum boom width does not exceed 65% of the wingspan. Choose the appropriate nozzle and orient it to deliver as coarse as possible a droplet size without significant decrease in efficacy.

Target only the target area
Apply pesticides only to the area needed.

Follow the buffer zone instructions on the pesticide label.
Shut off sprayer when making turns at field ends or gardens, near large puddles, ponds and other sources of water that may be used by pollinators and other wildlife.
Shut off individual nozzles where it is not necessary to spray, such as gaps in the crop or shrubbery.

Exercise pollinator-friendly practices throughout the growing season
Bees and other pollinators collect pollen, nectar and water from different sources that could become contaminated with pesticide residue.

Avoid contamination of plants, water and soil that may be used by pollinators.
Provide pollinator-friendly habitat (for example, alfalfa, clover, wildflowers) away from crops.

Report suspected pollinator pesticide poisonings
For suspected pollinator poisonings related to pesticides, contact the appropriate federal/provincial authority. See the pollinator protection webpage on for the appropriate federal and provincial contacts and additional information:

Related information
Additional information and best practices can be found at Health Canada’s pollinator protection web page or by contacting Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency at 1-800-267-6315.

Canada – Fact Sheet – Protecting Pollinators When Using Treated Seed – Best Management Practices

(PDF Version)

5 May 2023 (Amended from 2015 version)

When using a seed flow lubricant for planting corn or soybean seed treated with neonicotinoid insecticides clothianidin, thiamethoxam or imidacloprid, only a dust-reducing fluency agent is permitted to minimize the potential for abrasion that produces insecticidal seed dust. Talc and graphite are not permitted to be used as a seed flow lubricant for corn or soybean seed treated with these insecticides. Carefully follow the use directions provided with the dust-reducing fluency agent.

Best management practices
Insect pollinators are vital to agricultural production and the environment. Many farmers, including those who grow corn and soybeans, use insecticide-treated seed to protect their crop from insect pests. Some insecticides, such as neonicotinoids, are toxic to pollinators. Planting of treated seed can spread dust that contains insecticide into the air, placing pollinators at significant risk of exposure to toxic insecticides. Factors that impact the risk of exposure include the use of treated seed, type of planting equipment, planting conditions, flowering resources and bee yard locations.

The following Best Management Practices (BMPs) are provided to reduce the risk to bees and other insect pollinators from exposure to dust from treated seed. The BMPs provide a toolbox of options that should be used in combination wherever possible.

Read and adhere to the pesticide label and seed tag directions
Directions for use on pesticide product labels or on treated seed labels (such as personal protective equipment and buffer zones) must always be followed to minimize risks to human health and the environment.

Practice integrated pest management when choosing seed treatments
Practicing integrated pest management (IPM) is essential for sustainable pest control. This approach can include cultural practices to discourage pests (for example, crop rotation), correct identification of the pest problem and risk factors.

As part of an IPM program, evaluate fields and determine if soil pests are present at threshold levels or if fields have a high pest risk before making a decision to use treated seed. (In the Related Information section of this document, please see provincial websites for soil pest information.)
Use insecticide treated seed only where necessary.
If insecticide treatment is required, use the lowest effective seed treatment rate.
Most seed companies can accommodate orders for non-insecticide treated seed. Talk to your seed dealer about timing and options.

Develop and maintain shared communication with beekeepers to help protect honeybees
Communication and cooperation among growers, custom operators and beekeepers on the timing of planting treated seed and the location of hives can help reduce the risk of bee incidents. This communication will enable growers to know which fields have hives located close by and provide advanced notice to beekeepers of planting intentions, allowing beekeepers to ensure hives are located strategically, take actions to temporarily protect or relocate hives where feasible, and ensure clean water sources are provided.

Beekeepers should inform growers of hive locations.
Growers should inform beekeepers of timing of planting treated seed and pesticide applications.

Recognize pollinator habitat and take special care to reduce dust exposure
Bees collect pollen and nectar from flowering crops, trees and weeds, as well as water from puddles and moist soil in or beside fields. Pollinators can be exposed to treated seed dust when it is carried in the air or deposited on food and water sources.

During planting season, weeds, such as dandelions, and flowering trees, including maples, willows, hawthorns, apples, etc., are important pollinator foraging resources.
Dust emitted through planter exhaust may be transported under all weather conditions. Pollinator exposure may be increased under very dry and/or windy conditions that favour dust transport. Avoid planting treated seed under these conditions if flowering resources, standing water or bee yards are located downwind, and follow best practices to reduce dust exposure.
Control flowering weeds in the field before planting so that pollinators are not attracted to in-field forage.

Avoid generating dust when handling and loading treated seed

Handle bags with care during transport, loading and unloading in order to reduce abrasion, dust generation and spillage.
Do not load or clean planting equipment near bee colonies, and avoid places where bees may be foraging such as flowering crops, trees or weeds.
When turning on the planter, avoid engaging the system where emitted dust may contact honeybee colonies or foraging pollinators.

Managing planting equipment to decrease dust drift
Research indicates that use of vacuum (negative pressure) planters poses a significant risk of pollinator exposure from drift of insecticide containing dust exhausted from these planters. Limited information is available on the extent of exposure through other planter types. All growers should take care to reduce/control insecticide containing dust exhausted from planters.

Follow the directions provided by planting equipment manufacturers and keep up to date on new use practices.
Clean and maintain planting equipment regularly, including the fan housing and hoppers of air-assisted planters. For example, vacuum any dust remaining in the fan housing and hopper.
Use deflector equipment, where appropriate, to direct exhaust to the ground level and thus reduce dust drift.

Use appropriate seed flow lubricant

Seed flow lubricants may affect the generation of dust during planting.

Only a dust-reducing fluency agent is permitted with corn or soybean seed treated with neonicotinoid insecticides clothianidin, thiamethoxam or imidacloprid.
Talc and graphite are not permitted to be used as a seed flow lubricant for corn or soybean seed treated with these insecticides.
Carefully follow the use directions for the dust-reducing fluency agent.

Ensure proper clean-up and disposal
Take care when cleaning up after planting seed and follow provincial/municipal disposal requirements:

Spilled or exposed seeds and dust must be incorporated into the soil or cleaned-up from the soil surface.
Keep treated seed and dust away from surface water.
Do not leave empty seed bags or left-over treated seed in fields or the environment.
Participate in collection programs for seed bags where available.

Report suspected pollinator pesticide poisonings
For suspected pollinator poisonings related to planting of treated seed or pesticides, contact the appropriate federal/provincial authority.

See the pollinator protection webpage on for appropriate federal and provincial contacts or additional information:

Related information
Additional information and best practices can be found at Health Canada’s pollinator protection webpage: or by contacting Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency at 1-800-267-6315.

The following provincial sites provide soil pest information to support IPM practices:

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food
Québec : Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation

Protecting Our Nation’s Vital Infrastructure at Defense Strategies Institute’s Critical Infrastructure Security Summit

 Defense Strategies Institute is proud to announce the Critical Infrastructure Security Summit, occurring this September 22-23 in National Harbor, MD. This year’s Summit will convene senior leaders in a discussion on how we prevent and mitigate attacks against our critical infrastructure to ensure that the US people can continue their way of life, highlighting this year’s theme “Safeguarding US Infrastructure Against Cyber and Physical Attacks, threats, and Intrusions.”

As recent attacks on US interests have shown, the critical infrastructure that keeps our nation’s economy and military running are more interconnected and vulnerable than ever to cyber-attacks from outside actors as well as a number of other man-made and natural threats. This summit will bring together experts from the Government, Private Sector, and Academia to discuss how we can better detect, deter, protect against, and respond to these actors and actions, and how the private sector can help foster a more secure cyberspace.

The 2021 Infrastructure Security Summit will feature senior-level speakers including:

– Dr. David Mussington, Executive Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security, CISA

– Rich Chavez, Director of the Office of Intelligence, Security and Emergency Response, U.S. Department of Transportation

– COL Jeffrey Erickson, USA, Director, Army Cyber Institute

– Jim McCarthy, Senior Security Engineer, National Cyber Center of Excellence, NIST

Topics to be covered at the Summit Include:

– Defending the Nation’s Critical Facilities from Cyber Threats and Actions

– Delivering Engineering Solutions to Secure our Nation’s Infrastructure and Energize our Economy

– Strengthening our Nation’s Ability to Withstand and Respond to Cyber Attacks

– Ensuring US Transportation Systems Remain Safe and Open for the Free movement of people and Goods

– Protecting the Nation’s Supply Chain Infrastructure from Critical Disruptions

– Developing the Critical Capabilities needed to respond to Cyber Attacks on US Cities

– Securing US Energy Production Capacity from Cyber and Physical Intrusions

– And more.

DSI is now welcoming Sponsors and Exhibitors for the forum. To learn more please contact Luis Hernandez at, 201-918-3478.

In order to allow for actionable discussion and dialogue amongst speaker and attendees, seating will be limited. Register now to reserve your seat. Active military and government and state personnel attend complimentary. Those interested in participating in the Critical Infrastructure Security Summit can visit Defense Strategies Institute’s website at

Anyone interested in learning more or sending questions contact Erica Noreika at, 201-896-7802.

Defense Strategies Institute

Erica Noreika




  • Government

Hong Kong – LCQ22: Protecting children from being abused

LCQ22: Protecting children from being abused


     Following is a question by the Hon Elizabeth Quat and a written reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong, in the Legislative Council today (June 16):


     Between 2006 and 2015, there were six cases on average each year in which children died of assault. The number of new cases of child abuse has risen persistently in recent years, which can be seen by the fact that the number in 1999 rose by 75 per cent to more than 1 000 in 2019. There are views that the current number of reported cases of child abuse may just be the tip of the iceberg, as reporting of suspected child abuse cases is made only on a voluntary basis. On the other hand, a sub-committee of the Law Reform Commission has recommended the introduction of a new criminal offence, namely “failure to protect a child or vulnerable person where the child’s or vulnerable person’s death or serious harm results from an unlawful act or neglect” (the new offence). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) As the Government indicated earlier on that it was preparing to explore the possibilities of enacting legislation on the proposed new offence, of the progress and outcome of the exploratory work, including whether it will enact such legislation; if so, of the timetable, and the new measures, before the commencement of such legislation, to step up protection for children of at-risk families from being abused;

(2) Given that about 70 jurisdictions around the world have put in place a mechanism for mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse cases and the Office of The Ombudsman, Hong Kong recommended in 2019 that the Government explore the feasibility of such mechanism, whether the Government will expeditiously launch public consultation on the establishment of such mechanism, and actively consider establishing such mechanism; if so, of the details and timetable; if not, the reasons for that; and

(3) As there are views that there is no provision in the existing legislation against acts of psychological/mental abuse of children, whether the Government will, by drawing reference from overseas practices, enact relevant legislation, so that persons who abuse children psychologically/mentally will be held criminally liable; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



     The Government attaches great importance to the well-being of children. At present, there are many pieces of legislation in place that protect children from harm and abuse. They include the Offences against the Person Ordinance (Cap. 212), the Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 200), the Prevention of Child Pornography Ordinance (Cap. 579) and the Protection of Children and Juveniles Ordinance (Cap. 213). In addition, for the prevention, early identification and appropriate intervention of cases of children suspected or found to be abused, the Government has implemented a number of measures in recent years, including strengthening social work services at pre-primary institutions as well as primary and secondary schools; issuing guidelines to schools to implement a reporting mechanism for non-attendance cases, and requesting schools to pay more attention to students’ conditions; and providing guidelines for use by relevant professionals including social workers, teachers, healthcare personnel and the Police with a view to enhancing inter-disciplinary co-operation.

     In consultation with the Education Bureau (EDB) and the Security Bureau, my reply to various parts of the Member’s question is as follows:

(1) and (2) In May 2019, the Law Reform Commission (LRC) published a consultation paper which proposed to impose criminal liabilities on parents, carers and others when children or vulnerable adults die or are seriously harmed as a result of abuse or neglect while in their care. Under the proposed offence, the person who has a duty of care would have a duty to protect. Such duty would also include the duty to report, which is widely discussed in the community recently. The LRC’s consultation paper set out the information of other jurisdictions on duty to report including the pros and cons of mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse cases. In addition, in October 2019, the Office of The Ombudsman published its direct investigation report on “Mechanism for Identifying and Reporting Suspected Child Abuse Cases”. One of the recommendations made was that the Government should explore the feasibility of mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse cases. However, the report also pointed out that whether such a mechanism should be established was a complex issue involving a number of stakeholders, and it would be imperative to conduct thorough and extensive discussions, studies and consultations and foster a broad consensus in the community before such a mechanism could be implemented. The Government is exploring the possibilities of legislation on mandatory reporting as well as relevant mechanism and arrangements with reference to the final report to be published by the LRC.

     In fact, the Government has implemented in recent years a number of measures to protect children from maltreatment, including:

(a) Since the 2018/19 school year, the Social Welfare Department (SWD) has strengthened the provision of social work services at schools for early identification of children in need by providing in phases social work services for more than 700 aided child care centres (CCCs), kindergartens (KGs) and KG-cum-CCCs across the territory, covering a total of some 150 000 school children and their families;

(b) Since the 2018/19 school year, the EDB has implemented the policy of “one school social worker for each school” in public sector primary schools. Schools may, having regard to their own circumstances, employ at least one school-based registered graduate social worker with professional qualifications to further enhance the overall quality of guidance services;

(c) Since the 2019-20 school year, the SWD has deployed additional resources to strengthen school social work manpower at secondary schools and increase the number of school social workers to two for each secondary school and enhance supervisory support;

(d) The EDB has required KGs as well as primary and secondary schools to report students’ non-attendance to the EDB on the seventh day of the student’s continuous absence regardless of the reasons. For suspected child abuse cases, even if the students concerned have not been absent or have taken less than seven consecutive days of absence, schools should take action as early as possible according to the EDB’s circulars/guidelines and report to the EDB as appropriate;

(e) The EDB, the SWD and the Hong Kong Police Force have jointly organised annual briefings and seminars to step up training for school personnel on identification of child abuse victims. Elements or themes relevant to identification of child abuse victims have also been incorporated into training courses for school guidance personnel with a view to enhancing the capability and skills of school personnel holding different positions in handling child abuse cases;

(f) In April 2020, the SWD, in collaboration with relevant government departments, non-governmental organisations and professionals, implemented the “Protecting Children from Maltreatment – Procedural Guide for Multi-disciplinary Co-operation”, which sets out clear procedures for identification, reporting, immediate protection actions and follow-up of suspected child abuse cases, for use by relevant professionals including social workers, teachers, healthcare personnel and the Police; and

(g) In 2019-20, the SWD launched a video that aims to help the public understand the impact of family conflict on child development and promote co-parenting amongst separated or divorced parents for the best interests of their children. In 2020-21, the message that “child abuse is a crime” was also widely promoted.

(3) At present, the Police may invoke section 27 of the Offences against the Person Ordinance on “Ill-treatment or neglect by those in charge of child or young person” to handle any ill-treatment including bullying and intimidation. The provision stipulates that any person over the age of 16 years who has the custody, charge or care of any child or young person under that age who wilfully assaults, ill-treats, neglects, abandons or exposes such child or young person causing such a child or young person unnecessary suffering or injury to his health (including any mental derangement) shall be guilty of a criminal offence. Furthermore, the Protection of Children and Juveniles Ordinance empowers the court to grant a supervision order or appoint a legal guardian in respect of a child or juvenile who is in need of care or protection. The Government has no plan to amend section 27 of the Offences against the Person Ordinance regarding psychological abuse at this stage.