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.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Tipper database "outs" skinflints online, using names lifted from credit cards 

When you go to a restaurant, you probably expect that your credit card number is used to process your payment and, perhaps, so your server can buy cool stuff online. But what about your name? Well, if your server thinks you are cheap, your name may end up in the [BEEP] Tipper Database ("beep" is what my son would say, with a sly grin), along with editorial comments about how unpleasant a customer you are. has a bit of discussion about this site, which provides disgruntled foodservice employees an opportunity to vent about customers using the names lifted from credit cards:

The [BEEP] [BEEP] Tipper database (

Does the [BEEP] Tipper Database seem wrong to anyone else? I'm all for underpaid service staff venting and attempting to raise public awareness about bad tipping (which, in the absence of poor service, amounts to an unjust pay-cut determined completely by some random idiot customer). But since when is anything under 17% considered shitty? $0 on a $125 bill, that's shitty. 15% (on the pre-tax amount, I might add) is still the industry standard, no matter how much it sucks to get exactly the minimum for adequate service.

More importantly, what gives these people the right to take someone's full name off of a credit card (procured on the job, BTW) and put it up on the web because of some completely subjective gauge of service provided? If I'm eating somewhere, my expectation is that my credit card is being used only for payment and not for any personal use by the employees of the restaurant. If I don't leave someone what they think was deserved, they should catch me on the way out and ask me about it. Perhaps I forgot or miscalculated. Or maybe the service was a bit off in my mind. If I left no tip, I probably talked to the manager about why I did so and they'll be hearing about it from them. But to be all passive aggressive and get my name from my CC and post it on some internet message board...that suggests to me that maybe they didn't deserve a good tip in the first place."

So if you are going to tip less than fifteen percent and want to remain anonymous, use cash like the "bunch of soccer moms" from Halifax:

Tipper's Name: Some Pub Crawl for Soccer Mom's

Where it happened: Halifax NS

Total bill / Tip amount / Percentage: $110.00 / $0.17 / 0%

What happened:

This bitter old hag bought many rounds of shooters for her washed up friends who were in their late forties and trying to look like britney spears. She didn't tip all night, but I was still all (fake) smiles and joy, until I brought around their last round for last call. When I gave her change, she proceded to hold up one of the loonies (a dollar coin) and asked me to make change for it so she could finally tip me. I told her I didn't have small change, thats the smallest I have, so instead of just givin up that pathetic dollar she proceded to open up her wallet and dropped a dime, nickel and two pennies on my serving tray. SEVENTEEN CENTS! After slaving for them all night! ..."


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