Last January it was the huge privacy breaches involving Winner stores and Talvest Mutual Funds. As we noted with considerable dismay at the time on these pages, Canada’s federal Privacy Commissioner waited weeks before going public with the information, leaving customers whose privacy had been compromised in the dark. Now, the problem involves Rogers Communications Inc., one of Canada’s largest telecommunications carriers. As The Centre for Corporate & Public Governance pointed out in a statement calling once again for action on the part of federal lawmakers, Rogers has known about the breakdown in privacy protection for five months, but is only now getting around to advising customers. There is no information about this breach on either Rogers’ website or the Privacy Commission’s.
Something is very wrong about the handling of abuses of personal information when companies can drag their feet for months before letting customers know, and the Privacy Commission still has nothing to say on the subject. As The Centre also notes, there is no update at all on the breaches that surfaced in January. When it comes to privacy in Canada, too many parties responsible for its safeguarding and regulation are asleep at the switch.
It’s time somebody in Ottawa woke them up.