Federal Court Orders Telco to Pay $21,000 for Unauthorized Credit Check

The Federal Court of Canada recently ordered Bell Canada to pay $21,000 in damages in connection with conducting a credit check on a customer without consent.  The court noted that:

The fixing of damages for privacy rights' violations is a difficult matter absent evidence of direct loss. However, there is no reason to require that the violation be egregious before damages will be awarded. To do so would undermine the legislative intent of paragraph 16(c) [of PIPEDA] which provides that damages be awarded for privacy violations including but not limited to damages for humiliation.

Security Intelligence Review Committee Releases Annual Report

The Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) released its annual report for the 2012-2013 fiscal year last week.  In a press release that accompanied the Report, the Chair of the SIRC noted that "Overall, we are satisfied with CSIS's performance of its mandated duties and functions... However, we identified some areas of concern and have made recommendations to address those issues, most notably on information-sharing."

The annual report includes:

  • A year in review that sets out an analysis of key developments in security intelligence;
  • Summaries of SIRC reviews and complaints; and 
  • Information on public engagement, liaison and administrative activities of SIRC.

The SIRC is an independent review body that reports to the Parliament of Canada on the operations of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).   

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada Releases Annual Report on the Privacy Act

Last week, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released its annual report on the Privacy Act for 2012-2013.  The report sets out details on investigations and privacy trends across federal departments and agencies. 

Among other things, the report includes details on audits into the privacy practices of the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC) and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).