The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada recently
released new online advertising Guidelines to help organizations
ensure that their online behavioural advertising practices are
fair, transparent and in compliance with Canada's Personal
Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
The guidelines follow on the Report on the 2010 Office of the
Privacy Commissioner of Canada's Consultations on Online
Tracking, Profiling and Targeting, and Cloud Computing. [available
Among other things, the Guidelines remind organizations that the
purpose for which an individual's information is to be
collected, used or disclosed must be explained in a clear and
transparent manner. The Guidelines also acknowledge the challenges
that exist with obtaining consent online; however, opt-out consent
for online behavioural advertising could be considered reasonable
where certain factors are met (see below for the factors). In
addition, if an individual cannot decline the tracking or targeting
using an opt-out mechanism, then organizations should not be using
such technology for online behavioural advertising purposes. In
particular, the Guidelines state that, as a best practice,
organizations should avoid tracking children and tracking on
websites aimed at children.
The Commissioner provides some fairly specific guidance as to
what would be considered reasonable steps to take when crafting an
opt-out consent. She will be looking at the following factors when
assessing whether an opt out is reasonable:
" Individuals are made aware of the purposes for the
practice in a manner that is clear and understandable –
the purposes must be made obvious and cannot be buried in a privacy
policy. Organizations should be transparent about their practices
and consider how to effectively inform individuals of their online
behavioural advertising practices, by using a variety of
communication methods, such as online banners, layered approaches,
and interactive tools;
Individuals are informed of these purposes at or before the
time of collection and provided with information about the various
parties involved in online behavioural advertising;
Individuals are able to easily opt-out of the practice
– ideally at or before the time the information is
The opt-out takes effect immediately and is persistent;
The information collected and used is limited, to the extent
practicable, to non-sensitive information (avoiding sensitive
information such as medical or health information); and
Information collected and used is destroyed as soon as possible
or effectively de-identified."
Software license agreements generally require the customer to pay fees for the software license and related services, which fees are usually based upon the duration of the license and the manner in which the customer is allowed to use the software, together with applicable taxes and withholdings.
In less than nine months, on July 1, 2017, persons affected by a contravention of Canada's anti-spam legislation will be able to invoke a private right of action to sue for compensation and potentially substantial statutory damages.
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