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Ottawa, April 17, 2002 - The Privacy Commissioner of Canada, George Radwanski, today sent the following letter to André Ouellet, President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada Post Corporation.

Dear Mr. Ouellet:

Thank you very much for your letter of April 4, in which you informed me that you have given directives to amend Canada Post Corporation's Change of Address Notification (COAN) form to clearly allow movers to exercise their privacy rights.

You also informed me in this letter that Canada Post will be withdrawing its attempt to challenge my finding regarding the National Change of Address service in court.

In a subsequent telephone conversation, you specified that the Change of Address Notification form will be redesigned to include on its front two check-off boxes. These boxes will allow Canadians who pay Canada Post to redirect their mail to indicate clearly whether or not they consent to also having their new addresses provided to any business mailers. Provided that the intended uses of this personal information are clearly described, this is the approach I recommended in my finding. I would, of course, appreciate the opportunity to see the redesigned form before it is finalized.

I very much appreciate these decisions that you have now taken.

I particularly appreciate the recognition, implicit in your present approach, that Canada's privacy laws could not have meaningful effect - and the privacy rights of Canadians could not be adequately protected - if organizations felt at liberty to comply only with those of the Privacy Commissioner's findings they might find agreeable or convenient.

Privacy is a fundamental human right, but good privacy is also good business. Canadians are increasingly aware of their privacy rights, and insistent on having those rights respected by the organizations with which they have dealings. I am therefore certain that the Canadian public joins me in welcoming the approach that Canada Post is now taking in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

George Radwanski
Privacy Commissioner of Canada

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For more information, contact:

Anne-Marie Hayden
Media Relations
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Tel.: (613) 995-0103

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