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Investigations into businesses

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) conducts independent and impartial investigations into the personal information handling practices of businesses subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

The OPC publishes a selection of case summaries and findings from its investigations to provide concrete examples of how PIPEDA applies to the day-to-day management of personal information by businesses.

For each case, the Office indicates the outcome using a set of defined terms for findings and dispositions.

For more information about the complaint and investigation process, read How the OPC Enforces PIPEDA.

Note: Complainants are not named in the summaries or reports. The organizations are not identified unless the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has deemed it to be in the public interest to do so.

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Incident Summary #9

Online contest database hacked

..., number of children, email address and contest password (but no financial information). The information...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Report of Findings #2015-002

Website that generates revenue by republishing Canadian court decisions and allowing them to be indexed by search engines contravened PIPEDA

PIPEDA Report of Findings: Website that generates revenue by republishing Canadian court decisions and allowing them to be indexed by search engines contravened PIPEDA

..., and information about children) and the fact that these decisions were being prominently featured...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Case Summary #2014-014

Organization required to mask detailed personal-leave information available to other employees

..., a death in the family, birth of a child and parental leave. In our view, by having this information...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Report of Findings #2015-001

Results of Commissioner Initiated Investigation into Bell’s Relevant Ads Program

PIPEDA Report of Findings: Results of Commissioner Initiated Investigation into Bell’s Relevant Ads Program

...ads based on sensitive interest categories, like those relating to health or children, Bell...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Report of Findings #2014-011

Investigation into the personal information handling practices of Ganz Inc

Investigation into the personal information handling practices of Ganz Inc

...is aimed at children under 13, a younger demographic group than the one at issue in PIPEDA Report... at children between the ages of 6 and 13 years of ageFootnote 1. Children can open a free account... of children through its user registration process for the Website, without fully explaining...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Report of Findings #2014-005

Investigation into pardon services company finds no evidence of alleged disclosure of youth criminal record, but reveals lack of privacy policy

...Investigation into pardon services company finds no evidence of alleged disclosure of youth... #2014-005: Investigation into pardon services company finds no evidence of alleged disclosure of youth... finds no evidence of alleged disclosure of youth criminal record, but reveals lack of privacy policy...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Report of Findings # 2013-016

Rent-to-own business uses spyware to covertly collect large amounts of sensitive personal information for recovery of missing laptops

...that included pictures of children, as well as posted messages and other Internet content. The data..., with some concern to us, that Detective Mode is fully capable of capturing an image of a child... (i.e. including pictures of users and users’ children, friends and other family, as well as posted...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Report of Findings # 2013-012

Adult daughter required to submit insurance claims through her father and consent to disclose personal information to her father upon claiming benefits from his private health insurance plan

...# 2013-012 Issues: A young adult woman, who was a student, was listed as a dependent on her father’s... such as the health care of young adults). Our Office therefore seeks to encourage, and participate in, dialogue... is a student at a post-secondary educational institution. In her original complaint to the respondent...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Report of Findings #2013-010

In response to a case of a teen who was a victim of online impersonation, Facebook agrees to help non-users, on a case-by-case basis, reinstate their on-line reputation

PIPEDA Report of Findings: Facebook agrees to help non-users, on a case-by-case basis, reinstate their on-line reputation

...the importance of educating youth and parents about the potential misuses of Internet technology... presence. This case reiterates the importance of educating youth and parents about the misuses... with the reputational harm to her young daughter who was the victim of impersonation on Facebook...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Case Summary #2010-007

Test administrator revises measures aimed at preventing exam fraud

PIPEDA Report of Findings: Test administrator revises measures aimed at preventing exam fraud

...to the requirement that students enrolled at Canadian universities be fingerprinted in order... fingerprints from students in Canada. The company agreed to do so, but stated... in 2006, in response to concerns about fingerprinting expressed by students, data-protection...

Date of findings:

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