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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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PIPEDA Case Summary #2005-288

Identification requirements for cell phone services

PIPEDA Case Summary: Identification requirements for cell phone services

...as a citizenship card or university student card, to name a few. The company stated that all forms...

Date of findings:
Incident Summary #1

Misdirected faxes containing health information end up in apartment managers' hands

..., and also included information about the patient's children. The evaluation was sent by a medical consultant...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Case Summary #2004-279

Surveillance of employees at work

PIPEDA Case Summary: Surveillance of employees at work

...: they were young, transient, and in entry-level positions. It considered and rejected the idea...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Case Summary #2003-190

Bank opens former employee's mail

PIPEDA Case Summary: Bank opens former employee's mail

...for a course, it is customary for the students to give their employer's address. The evidence showed that the complainant.... All correspondence from the organization that gave the course is addressed to the student and marked "personal and confidential." However, the organization noted that when a student registers...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Case Summary #2003-150

Credit agency accused of improper disclosure of personal information

PIPEDA Case Summary: Credit agency accused of improper disclosure of personal information

..., such as being denied a student loan, as in this case, or perhaps a mortgage, because a decision was made based on...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Case Summary #2003-132

Bank accused of inappropriately demanding SIN to open child's account

PIPEDA Case Summary: Bank accused of inappropriately demanding SIN to open child's account

...Bank accused of inappropriately demanding SIN to open child's account PIPEDA Case Summary #2003-132: Bank accused of inappropriately demanding SIN to open child's account Bank accused of inappropriately demanding SIN to open child's account PIPEDA Case Summary #2003-132 PIPEDA Case Summary...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Case Summary #2003-139

Individual claims that bank collected unnecessary information and retained it for too long

PIPEDA Case Summary: Individual claims that bank collected unnecessary information and retained it for too long

...the complainant, whose daughter had applied for a student line of credit, and asked him detailed questions...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Case Summary #2002-106

Pilot required to consent to open-ended collection and disclosure of personal information

PIPEDA Case Summary: Pilot required to consent to open-ended collection and disclosure of personal information

...has instructed all U.S. flight simulator companies to have non-U.S. students sign the "Authorization...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Case Summary #2002-86

Bank failed to inform customer of taped telephone call

PIPEDA Case Summary: Bank failed to inform customer of taped telephone call

...of his child's application for a loan. The complainant alleged that the bank only informed him at the end...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Case Summary #2002-28

Bank sends customers' pay stubs to wrong party

PIPEDA Case Summary #2002-28: Bank sends customers' pay stubs to wrong party

...for debt reduction under the Canada Student Loan Program. A few weeks later they got a call... and, as a goodwill gesture to the complainants', waived the husband's student loan payment for one month...

Date of findings:

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