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Stores Cited for Recording Tobacco Users' Info

PERSONAL PRIVACY—CANADA

February 24, 2010

Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart is asking the Federal Court of Canada to order a national grocery chain to stop collecting personal information from tobacco purchasers, the Ottawa Citizen reports. The court filing comes on the heels of an Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) investigation that found Sobeys breached the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) by requiring clerks to enter the birth dates of customers who purchase tobacco products into their cash registers. Although customer names are not recorded, the OPC contends the birth dates can be linked to purchase data. An OPC spokeswoman said retailers should "take the least privacy-intrusive approaches possible, even when there's a requirement by law."
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