Privacy Commissioner Concerned With Ticketmaster's Privacy Practices, Encourages Companies to Adopt High Privacy Standards Across Operations
OTTAWA, April 18, 2008 – Privacy Commissioner of Canada Jennifer Stoddart expressed concern with the information collection and privacy practices of a major online ticket vendor. However, following an investigation by her office and that of Alberta Commissioner Frank Work , the privacy practices of Ticketmaster Canada Limited have been brought up to standard.
However, she encourages companies to adopt the highest standard of privacy practices possible, regardless of where they do business.
“Online commerce continues to grow and customers worldwide expect companies to safeguard their personal information in the course of their business,” says Jennifer Stoddart. “It simply makes good business sense for companies to implement excellent privacy practices across their operations. It is also the law in Canada.”
The Commissioner launched an investigation into the information collection practices of Ticketmaster Canada Limited after a private citizen filed a complaint alleging that the company’s policies and practices on the collection, disclosure and use of customers’ personal information did not comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, Frank Work, investigated a similar complaint into how Ticketmaster obtained consent to collect its customers’ personal information and released an investigation report late in 2007.
The investigation conducted by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada examined the issue of consent, but also investigated whether Ticketmaster followed the principles of access, openness and accountability found in PIPEDA.
“I am now satisfied with the measures Ticketmaster undertook to resolve the complaints that were brought to our attention,” says Jennifer Stoddart. “But I am very concerned that, seven years after PIPEDA was enacted, a major online company operating throughout Canada was found to be in violation of the legislation.”
The Assistant Commissioner also found that Ticketmaster’s online customers were required to consent to their personal information being used for marketing purposes as a condition of purchasing a ticket – a clear violation of PIPEDA.
Following the two investigations, Ticketmaster has revised its privacy practices to explicitly communicate what personal information is collected, with whom it is shared, and how it is used. The company has also adapted its online notification and call-centre telephone scripts so that customers are provided with a choice of whether to opt in to receive marketing material from Ticketmaster and event providers.
The Commissioner will bring this distinction to the attention of her colleagues at the US Federal Trade Commission. As well, she will continue to encourage companies with operations in Canada and elsewhere to adopt the highest standard of information protection practices possible to ensure compliance with Canadian privacy law.
To view the case summary and backgrounder:
Friday, April 18, 2008
Privacy Commissioner Concerned With Ticketmaster's Privacy Practices
The Privacy Commissioner doesn't often "name names", but she's named Ticketmaster in this most recent finding released from her office. Here's the press release: