Two new studies suggest COVID-19 has brought fathers closer to their children.
A online survey conducted in May by the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF) reported 38 per cent of respondents feeling coronavirus restrictions have had a positive impact on their roles as fathers. Forty eight per cent said they are more aware of their importance as a father, 59 per cent felt closer to their children and 48 per cent have decided to be more engaged as a father in the future.
“I’ve been off work since March and it’s been stressful, but the upside is I’ve been able to spend a lot more time with my daughters,” said Dal Watson from Burnaby. “I’m a professional chef and I’ve been spending time in the kitchen at home teaching my kids how to cook. We’re also sitting down as a family and eating together, which was something that couldn’t happen very often when I was working.
“I’m grateful for the extra time I have with my family.”
The study was conducted by Intensions Consulting. The company’s managing partner, Nick Black, said 62 per cent of men reported sitting down to more meals with their children.
“Sharing meals can provide an important opportunity for family connection,” Black noted. “There is considerable evidence that eating meals together can have a positive impact on kids’ mental health, nutritional choices, school performance, and can even reduce the incidence of drug and alcohol use.”
The Men’s Initiative at UBC followed up the first study with a series of virtual focus groups. When asked to describe their family dynamic before COVID-19, many fathers talked about long work days with commuting, eating on the run, children’s schedules – including sports, extracurricular and social activities – and family members experiencing lives lived parallel with each other.
The men worry they’ll be drawn back into that hectic existence as COVID-19 restrictions ease, and lose the gains they’ve made with their families.
“If the COVID-19 lockdown accelerates the movement of dads to be more engaged with their children, that could be a lasting benefit from a tragic public health crisis,” said Dr. Larry Goldenberg, Founding Chair of the CMHF. “It is clear, however, that men realize it will be a challenge to continue spending quality time with their families once the daily stresses of commuting and working long hours are reintroduced to their lives.”
For tips on how to retain a healthy balance between work and family, check out DontChangeMuch.ca
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Alberta privacy commissioner calls province's contact tracing app a 'security risk' – MobileSyrup
The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta (OIPC) reviewed Alberta’s smartphone app for tracking COVID-19 and found it could be a security risk if used on an Apple device.
The app, called ‘ABTraceTogether,’ launched in early May and allowed Albertans to track contact with others over Bluetooth. ABTraceTogether uses a similar system to the system created by Apple and Google. It uses Bluetooth to trade codes between nearby phones. When someone tests positive for COVID-19, they can upload the codes through the app, which alerts other users who were in close contact with the infected person.
Information and Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton told Global News that although Alberta Health was mindful of privacy and security when developing the app, she had “ongoing concerns” about how ABTraceTogether worked on Apple devices.
The main issue brought up by Clayton is that Apple users need to keep their devices unlocked to use ABTraceTogether. Doing so “significantly increases the risk in case of theft or loss,” Clayton told Global News.
It’s important to note that the security problem here isn’t caused by ABTraceTogether directly. Instead, the problem is a fault of Apple’s restrictive settings on iOS. That said, issues like this are among the central reasons Apple and Google partnered to create a cross-platform contact tracing API that could work in the background as part of each company’s respective mobile operating system.
Global News reports that Alberta Health confirmed it began working with Apple and Google to improve the app about three weeks after ABTraceTogether launched. However, over a month and a half later, Alberta Health says it’s still working with Apple to create a fix to allow ABTraceTogether to work in the background.
The province told Global News that the app plays a vital role in fighting COVID-19 and helps save lives. Further, Alberta Health said it would review the commissioner’s report and make changes where it can.
Google targets stalkerware in updated ad policy – CNET
Google will name stalkerware apps on its list of services banned from advertising on its platform, starting in August, the company said in an update this month. The move is designed to make it even harder to reach potential customers for the apps, which are also banned from Google’s and Apple’s stores.
Stalkerware or spyware apps are disturbingly common. Tens of thousands of the services are available by some estimates, and they let someone who has access to your phone or cloud passwords intercept your texts, call logs and location while having access to your microphone and camera., and often are used for illegal activity.
Google’s ad policies are one of many ways the tech sector and advocates have tried to limit the app-makers’ reach. Google and Apple have also removed many of the apps from their platforms. Additionally, a group of advocates, antivirus companies and legal experts, have formed the Coalition Against Stalkerware. Antivirus firms have researched the best ways to identify the apps and warn users when stalkerware might be on their phones. (CNET wrote a series of stories on these apps and their dangers earlier this year. They’re listed in the curated links box below.)
The apps have. The law lets app makers advertise the products as family safety apps, meant to keep track of kids’ phone use and locations. But because they often run completely in the background, with no icon or notifications to let the user know they’re there, the apps are useful for people who want to spy on partners or exes without their consent.
In a Harris poll conducted with NortonLifeLock, 1 in 10 people in the US saidto track an ex or partner.
Google’s new policy does allow app makers to advertise services “designed for parents to track or monitor their underage children.” This could prompt apps with secret spy abilities to use deceptive, family-friendly messaging when they try to advertise with Google. Under the hood, they may still act like stalkerware apps, as security writer Graham Cluley pointed out in a blog post Friday.
According to Google, the company takes enforcement action against companies that hide the true purpose of their apps with deceptive practices. The update will add spyware to the list of specific examples of services that can’t advertise with Google because they “enable a user to gain unauthorized access (or make unauthorized changes) to systems, devices, or property.” Other services currently listed by Google include “hacking services, stealing cable, radar jammers, changing traffic signals, phone or wire-tapping.”
In a statement, a Google spokesperson said the company makes frequent updates to its ad policies to make sure users are protected.
“We routinely updated our language with examples to help clarify what we consider policy violating,” the spokesperson said. “Spyware technology for partner surveillance was always in scope of our policies against dishonest behavior.”
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