Investigations into businesses

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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 #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 #2005-304

Movie theatre chain strengthens personal information handling practices

PIPEDA Case Summary: Movie theatre chain strengthens personal information handling practices

...that the company employs relatively young people and that staff turnover is high. Nevertheless, the Assistant...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Case Summary #2009-007

Mother and daughter were videotaped during covert surveillance of another individual

PIPEDA Report of Findings: Mother and daughter were videotaped during covert surveillance of another individual

...her own and her young daughter’s activities, mentioned her licence plate number, and contained photographic...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Report of Findings #2010-008

When using video surveillance, security needs must respect privacy requirements

PIPEDA Report of Findings: When using video surveillance, security needs must respect privacy requirements

...were waiting in the building lobby and the two younger nieces began to touch a decorative water...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Report of Findings #2009-023

Email regarding vehicle repair complaint used for marketing without consent

PIPEDA Report of Findings: Email regarding vehicle repair complaint used for marketing without consent

..., number of children, home ownership, mortgages, addresses, telephone numbers, vehicles, and detailed...

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

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

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 Report of Findings #2017-007

Operator of website that shamed debtors for profit takes down website after OPC takes the matter to Federal Court

PIPEDA Report of Findings: Operator of website that shamed debtors for profit takes down website after OPC takes the matter to Federal Court

...between the website, and the child-support enforcement programs run by the Ontario and Alberta governments...

Date of findings:
PIPEDA Report of Findings #2018-002

Company’s re-use of millions of Canadian Facebook user profiles violated privacy law

PIPEDA Report of Findings: Company’s re-use of millions of Canadian Facebook user profiles violated privacy law

...me look like a child. Our Office confirmed, based on a search of Facebook, that the subject...

Date of findings:

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