Canadian Competition Bureau takes enforcement action against misleading privacy claims

The Competition Bureau of Canada has taken its first enforcement action against an organization for allegedly violating Canadian truth in advertising laws by making false and misleading representations about its privacy practices. The enforcement action demonstrates the Bureau’s willingness to use its enforcement powers, including imposing significant administrative monetary penalties, to protect Canadian consumers against false or misleading privacy policies.

Organizations operating in Canada now face the prospect of scrutiny of their privacy practices and related representations by both the Competition Bureau and Canadian privacy commissioners, and potentially significant financial penalties (resulting from enforcement action by the Bureau) for false or misleading representations about their privacy practices.

To avoid inadvertent violation of Canadian truth in advertising laws, organizations should periodically take steps (including conducting comprehensive privacy audits) to ensure that their privacy policies, marketing materials and other statements accurately describe their collection, use, disclosure (including sharing with third parties), retention (including security safeguards) and deletion of consumers’ personal information, and the control that consumers have over those activities.

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This content has been updated on May 2, 2024 at 13 h 42 min.