Briefing

Loblaw collected too much personal information for bread price-fixing scandal gift cards: Privacy commissioner

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The federal watchdog determined that Loblaw failed to tell customers applying for the $25 vouchers that they could redact information like birth dates, driver’s licence numbers and photos of themselves. Loblaw initially collected that information, but stopped partway through. The privacy commissioner is not asking the company to do anything further to address the issue. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The grocer voluntarily offered the gift cards after it received immunity for cooperating in a Competition Bureau investigation of alleged collusion to raise bread prices. The antitrust agency has been criticized for its decisions on Loblaw and for the size of its fine of Volkswagen in the diesel-emissions case; in a recent interview with The Logic, competition commissioner Matthew Boswell noted it was not involved with the gift card program and is constrained by the legal limits on the monetary penalties it can issue. The privacy commissioner’s fining powers are similarly limited, though in May, the government proposed to expand them in a discussion paper on reforms to Canada’s consumer privacy law. But Loblaw isn’t entirely done with the issue—it still faces a $1-billion class-action lawsuit over the alleged bread price-fixing.