Wednesday, August 25, 2004

READ THIS! Privacy chief to e-commerce firms: Don't blame PIPEDA

I highly recommend reading this article from It quotes from both Jennifer Stoddart (Federal Privacy Commissioner) and Anne Cavoukian (Ontario Commissioner) emphasising how important it is to gain and maintain customer trust. So, get your privacy act together.

Privacy chief to e-commerce firms: Don't blame PIPEDA

8/25/2004 5:00:00 PM - Jennifer Stoddart defends the federal legislation and warns software vendors about potential damage to their corporate reputations. Plus: Why can't security and privacy assessors get along?


Stoddart made an aggressive pitch, referring to a 2002 Leger Marketing survey that found issues with security and privacy continue to be the biggest barrier to Canadians making online purchases.

"These fears are fuelled by an identity theft problem galloping out of control, which is estimated to result in losses of $2 trillion worldwide by the end of 2005," she said.

Stoddart cautioned that while a company may see a business opportunity in data mining, "their next door neighbour might see it as an unacceptable invasion of privacy".

Yet, if a business conforms with PIPEDA’s "informed consent" and "document storage" provisions on the treatment of personal electronic information, that business stands to recoup the loyalty of would-be customers, she said.

"This will help you grow your business by improving trust."

Ann Cavoukian, information and privacy commissioner of Ontario and one of Stoddart’s co-presenters, pointed to a Harris/Westin poll conducted in 2001 and 2002 which supported her federal counterpart’s argument.

Over 90 per cent of the poll’s respondents said the volume and frequency of business they conduct with a company is directly related to the level of confidence they have in that company’s privacy practices. The same poll found that 83 per cent of respondents would stop doing business with a company if they felt that their personal information was misused. ...

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