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

16 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2013

See all articles by Colin Bennett

Colin Bennett

Department of Political Science, University of Victoria

Christopher A. Parsons

University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs, Citizen Lab

Adam Molnar

Deakin University - Department of Criminology

Date Written: 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.

Keywords: Social Networking, Privacy, Compliance, Jurisdiction, Canada, law

Suggested Citation

Bennett, Colin and Parsons, Christopher A. and Molnar, Adam, Real and Substantial Connections: Enforcing Canadian Privacy Laws Against American Social Networking Companies (February 28, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2226647 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2226647

Colin Bennett

Department of Political Science, University of Victoria ( email )

3800 Finnerty Rd
Victoria, British Columbia V8P 5C2
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.colinbennett.ca

Christopher A. Parsons (Contact Author)

University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs, Citizen Lab ( email )

Toronto, Ontario
Canada

Adam Molnar

Deakin University - Department of Criminology ( email )

221 Burwood Hwy
Melbourne, Victoria 3125
Australia

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