PIAC Media Releases

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PIAC files new CRTC Application regarding COVID Alert, Alberta apps

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020
OTTAWA - 9 September 2020 - The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today filed with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) an Application requesting CRTC oversight of potential linkages between IP addresses generated by use of Health Canada's "COVID Alert" app (as well as similar uses of IP addresses and additionally, mobile phone numbers, by the "ABTraceTogether" app in Alberta) and telecommunications subscriber information. The Application requests that the CRTC ensure that all Canadian cellphone and Internet companies'  involvement in potential or actual linkages of information from contact-tracing apps to confidential telecommunications information held by cellphone and Internet companies for public health purposes is done in accordance with privacy requirements of Canada's telecommunications law. PIAC Executive Director John Lawford stated: "Now we know how COVID Alert and ABTraceTogether work, PIAC sees a potential personal information "leak" if the government uses info from the apps to ask cellphone companies for more information on users. The CRTC must set out rules limiting any such access requests by the government to protect Canadians' privacy."

Open Letter to Facebook: Don’t Launch “Messenger Kids” in Canada

Friday, June 22nd, 2018
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today published an open letter to Facebook urging the social media giant not to launch the "Facebook Messenger Kids" app in Canada. PIAC's letter points to the collection and retention of young users' actual communications by Facebook, without a clear rationale, something that PIAC claims may, along with other flaws, violate Canadian privacy laws. "This is not a toy," said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel of PIAC. "It is a sophisticated social networking tool with significantly intrusive data collection - and it's intended for kids - who cannot even consent to it themselves." The letter raises a number of concerns that Facebook Messenger Kids, as presently structured, may violate Canadian privacy laws.

PIAC Participates in Parliamentary Review of PIPEDA

Friday, February 17th, 2017
On February 14, 2017, PIAC appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics as part of a review of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

Data Breach Notification Proposal is Carte Blanche for Business Data Spills

Friday, April 25th, 2008
No Enforcement, No Standards, No Reporting

PIAC Criticizes Industry Canada’s Privacy Comments

Thursday, January 24th, 2008
PIPEDA Needs Concrete Amendments to Protect Public Interest

PIAC News Release

Friday, October 18th, 2002
Privacy Commissioner finds businesses in breach of law;Consumer groups declare victory and demand compliance

Consumer advocates cheer privacy finding re: Aeroplan

Wednesday, March 20th, 2002
Those fed up with personalized junk mail and telemarketing, but unable to control it, have an ally in the federal Privacy Commissioner. George Radwanski, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, today released his findings on a complaint lodged last summer about the customer information practices of Air Canada's Aeroplan Frequent Flier program. In a strongly worded report, the Commissioner lambasts Air Canada for failing to obtain the informed consent of Aeroplan members to the sharing of their personal information with external sources, as well as with other Aeroplan members.

Survey of Canadians views (Direct Marketing) – COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE

Thursday, September 6th, 2001
Les Canadiens s’inquiètent d’un « Big Brother » dans le secteur privé et préfèrent qu’on ne présume pas de leur consentement au partage des renseignements personnels

Survey of Canadians views (Direct Marketing) – News Release

Thursday, September 6th, 2001
Canadians Wary of Private Sector Big Brother: Want Opt-in Approach to Personal Data Use

Telemarketing Irks Canadians

Thursday, August 9th, 2001
Canadians are getting fed up with telemarketing, according to recent market research. In survey results released today, a strong majority of Canadians express a desire to stop all telemarketing calls to their homes.
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