Canada Post breaking law by gathering info from envelopes, parcels: watchdog

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Published September 20, 2023 at 1:22 pm

The federal privacy watchdog says Canada Post is breaking the law by gleaning information from the outsides of envelopes and packages to help build marketing lists that it rents to businesses.

The office of privacy commissioner Philippe Dufresne says information collected for the marketing program includes data about where individuals live and what type of online shopping they do, based on who sends them packages.

The commissioner found Canada Post had not obtained authorization from individuals to indirectly collect such personal information.

In a report on his office’s investigation, Dufresne says this amounts to a violation of section 5 of the Privacy Act.

The commissioner recommended Canada Post stop using and disclosing personal information in this way until it can seek and obtain consent from Canadians.

Dufresne says the post office declined to take this corrective action, and he is urging it to reconsider.

The Canadian Press

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