You Privacy and Your Rights

· privacy,PIPEDA,GDPR etc,Canada

Data Collection and You

Organizations collect data on you. In many instances you give them permission, in other instances, you don't. The real question on that collection: how legal is it?

Facebook v Competition Bureau (Canada)

"Facebook did not limit the sharing of users' personal information with some third-party developers in a way that was consistent with the company's privacy claims," the Bureau said in a statement. "This personal information included content users posted on Facebook, messages users exchanged on Messenger, and other information about identifiable users."

Essentially this 'agreement' allows the Bureau to monitor Facebook, and Facebook must pay $9MM in monetary penalties and $500,000 in costs. Further, Facebook also agreed not to make any false or misleading statements abouts its disclosure of user data (personal information).

This shows that the Bureau is committed to enforcing its powers, including imposing significant administrative (monetary) penalties, to protect the Canadian consumer against misleading privacy policies.

PIPEDA v The Competition Act

Under PIPEDA, organizations are generally required to get consent for for the collection, use and disclosure of personal data. This is why organizations have privacy policies and users should read them. Many do not. Some do.

The Privacy Commissioner's office does their best to enforce privacy laws, but its ability is limited. They are able to investigate, recommend and publicly expose organizations that are not compliant. But, it needs to take organizations to court to get fines imposed. This becomes a tedious process.

However, the Competition Act gives the Bureau powers to go after organizations both civilly and criminally. This gives the Bureau a broader scope with which to pursue any organizations that do not comply with the Privacy Act.

So, while PIPEDA is a critical step forward in privacy protection, it is limited. The Competition Act has broader powers and they are much more versus PIPEDA. They have the ability to impose fines and press both civil and / or criminal prosecution. This means that in many ways PIPEDA is a step forward, but it can only go so far. However, working in conjunction with the Competition Act there is a great deal of power that can be wielded.

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