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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 #2009-004

No Consent Required for Using Publicly Available Personal Information Matched with Geographically Specific Demographic Statistics

PIPEDA Report of Findings: No Consent Required for Using Publicly Available Personal Information Matched with Geographically Specific Demographic Statistics

...with children, propensity of home ownership, median home value and dominant period of construction... home value, is used to determine factors such as the probability of children, and marital status... and whether the individual has children.  Income was focused on as it is the most sensitive variable...

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:
PIPEDA Case Summary #2009-006

Airline ticket seller was mistaken in its collection of exact age information

PIPEDA Report of Findings: Airline ticket seller was mistaken in its collection of exact age information

...of birth would still be required for tickets for infants younger than 24 months, since the airline... to use age ranges, except for infants younger than 24 months, to comply with a requirement...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Case summary #2011-012

GMAT Test-taker Objects to Palm-Vein Scanning

PIPEDA Report of Findings: GMAT Test-taker Objects to Palm-Vein Scanning

...the GMAT and 2) to ensure that the test scores sent to schools accurately reflect the students’ abilities... identification system in 2006, after concerns were voiced about fingerprinting, by students, data...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Case Summary #2007-379

Condition of washrooms prompts management to monitor facilities

PIPEDA Case Summary: Condition of washrooms prompts management to monitor facilities

..., their children, and many job applicants. Due to the sensitivity of the complaint and the fact... to be a child (children did frequent the work environment), not an employee. The Assistant...

Date of findings:
Settled case summary #28

DVD-rental store revises membership application process (December 14, 2006)

...a military card; student card; gym membership card; and, if the customer volunteers it, a health card...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Case Summary #2006-345

Private school not covered by PIPEDA

PIPEDA Case Summary: Private school not covered by PIPEDA

...from a private school to enable his children to attend the institution.  He complained to our Office... for his children, and believed that some individuals who were not on the committee had been informed...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Report of Findings #2016-003

Investigation into the personal information handling practices of “Compu-Finder” (3510395 Canada Inc.)

PIPEDA Report of Findings: Investigation into the personal information handling practices of “Compu-Finder” (3510395 Canada Inc.)

...to be an address devoted to assisting students and faculty at a university report unwanted spam e-mails...

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 #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:

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