Privacy: How can we reconcile the interests of consumers with those of businesses, licensees and professionals?
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Maryse Guénette, Head of Research and Advocacy Services
A few years ago, when Option consommateurs representatives were delivering identity theft training to consumers, they noticed that many individuals were having difficulty following the advice given to them. This research project set out to identify the reasons for this disconnect and to determine what could be done to improve the situation by considering privacy legislation and by contacting businesses to understand their practices and the underlying issues.
In carrying out this research, Option consommateurs talked to businesses and professionals. During the interviews, researchers learned that although merchants usually have legitimate reasons for collecting personal information, some gather more information than is necessary. The researchers also sometimes noted deficiencies in the information given to consumers, the approaches for obtaining consumers’ consent and the protection of personal information.How can the interests of consumers, businesses and professionals be reconciled in light of privacy rights and regulations? The research report concludes that compliance with the law should allow organizations to effectively reconcile those interests, since the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) provides for an appropriate balance between the interests of organizations and those of consumers. As such, the report’s recommendations are, first and foremost, aimed at compliance with the law, but they also aim to make stakeholders better informed and more sensitive to privacy protection issues in the private sector.
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OPC Funded Project
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Contributions Program funds independent privacy protection research. The opinions expressed in the report(s) and summaries are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. The summaries have been provided by the project authors. Please note that the projects appear in their original language.
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