Mar 152013
 
 March 15, 2013  Laws

Real and Substantial Connections: Enforcing Canadian Privacy Laws Against American Social Networking Companies

Colin Bennett
University of Victoria

Christopher A. Parsons
University of Victoria – Political Science

Adam Molnar
University of Victoria, Department of Political Science

February 28, 2013

Abstract:

Any organization that captures personal data in Canada for processing is deemed to have a “real and substantial connection” to Canada and fall within the jurisdiction of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. What has been the experience of enforcing Canadian privacy protection law on US-based social networking services? We analyze some of the high-profile enforcement actions by the Privacy Commissioner. We also test compliance through an analysis of the privacy policies of the top 23 SNSs operating in Canada with the use of access to personal information requests. Most of these companies have failed to implement some of the most elementary requirements of data protection law. We conclude that an institutionalization of non-compliance is widespread, explained by the countervailing conceptions of jurisdiction inherent in corporate policy and technical system design.

You can download the full article from SSRN.

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