The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.

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The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.

For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.

Please note that I am only able to provide legal advice to clients. I am not able to provide free legal advice. Any unsolicited information sent to David Fraser cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

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The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Article: Loyalty cards plus legwork can track beef buying 

The Seattle Times: Loyalty cards plus legwork can track beef buying: Loyalty cards raise quite a few privacy issues. Many people worry about what is done with information that is collected through their use and many people assume the worst about the practices of companies that operate the cards. (See CASPIAN - Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering.) Almost all the discussions I've seen revolve around privacy and marketing. This article from this morning's Seattle Times puts a very interesting spin on what can be done with information that may be collected when consumers use their loyalty cards.

"Sunday, January 11, 2004
By Carol M. Ostrom, Seattle Times staff reporter

If you use a supermarket loyalty card, the store knows a lot about what you buy. But can you use that card to find out if you bought recalled meat from the nation's first mad cow?

Not very easily, say supermarket chains that use such cards, which include the Safeway Club Card, QFC Advantage Card and Albertsons Preferred Savings Card. "

On the subject of loyalty programs, The Public Interest Advocacy Centre's website contains some materials (See their privacy page at to their complaint about (alleged) inadequate consent against the Air Miles program, among other respondents. Most interestingly, they have published the full text of the findings of the Commissioner, which are ususally only released in abbreviated form.

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