What would it be like in the privacy world if we didn’t have Facebook? I suppose there would be a lot less news. I spoke about the tech giant last week, and while I was prepared to speak about other things instead this week, along came the notice yesterday that the Office of the Privacy Commissioner is taking Facebook to court.
Last April, the commissioner (along with the commissioner from British Columbia) issued the most scathing report concluding Facebook had violated the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act in a number of respects in relation to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Now the OPC will have to prove those conclusions all over again before a judge. All this is made necessary because Facebook has ignored the commissioners’ recommendations — which, of course, is exactly what is permitted by PIPEDA.
In the Notice of Application, the OPC sets out what it is asking the court to do in terms of remedies. Some of the things include:
- An order requiring Facebook to implement effective, specific and easily accessible measures to obtain and ensure it maintains meaningful consent from all users.
- An order requiring Facebook to specify the technical revisions, modifications and amendments to be made to its practices to achieve compliance with PIPEDA.
- An order that the parties follow up with the court, as well as an order that the court retains jurisdiction for the purposes of ongoing monitoring and enforcement.
- An order prohibiting Facebook from further collecting, using and disclosing any personal information of users in any manner that contravenes PIPEDA.
- An order requiring Facebook to publish a public notice of any action taken or proposed to be taken to correct its practices that contravene PIPEDA.
This now brings the court cases to watch count to two. The other one I’m referencing is the right-to-be-forgotten case involving Google.
There’s plenty of non-Facebook news this week, too, so I hope you take a few seconds to scroll through the rest of the digest. I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t take up a little space here to mention that Nova Scotia has appointed a new information and privacy commissioner. We want to welcome Tricia Ralph, who will officially take over March 1, replacing the very good, energetic and intelligent Catherine Tully. I’m sure those of you who have attended the Game Show at Symposium will miss her candid, insightful and engaging participation in that forum.
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