Public Facebook Profiles Not Equivalent to Public Information Under PIPEDA

In its most recent report of findings entitled “Company’s re-use of millions of Canadian Facebook user profiles violated privacy law,” the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (the “OPC”) dealt with the often confusing issue of personal information that is publicly available and confirmed its view that Facebook profiles that are set to public are not considered “publicly available” information under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”). As such, this finding reinforces the notion that the colloquial meaning of “public information” does not correspond to the legal definition of “publicly available” under Canadian privacy law. This report of findings is also a reminder to foreign entities that the OPC will not hesitate to exercise its authority to investigate them if they are conducting commercial activities involving the collection, use or disclosure of Canadians’ personal information.


This content has been updated on May 2, 2024 at 14 h 02 min.