If These Canadians Lived in the United States, How Would They Protect Their Privacy? The Functional Equivalence of Privacy Redress Mechanisms in Canada and the US
2016 Privacy Law Scholars Conference, George Washington University, June 2-3, 2016
32 Pages Posted: 12 May 2016
Date Written: May 10, 2016
Recent commentary has contended that, despite the fact that the U.S. Does not have a comprehensive data protection statute nor a data protection authority, the entire regime for the protection of privacy is essentially and functionally equivalent to those in other advanced democratic states. We subject that hypothesis to empirical examination by investigating seven actual complaints and investigations conducted under the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). These are real cases brought by real individuals. In each case, we ask the question, if these same fact situations occurred in the U.S. How would these individuals try to advance their privacy rights and seek redress? We examine cases from different sectors: credit reporting, insurance, online advertising, online dating, banking, hotels and cellular communications. The cases are not representative. Nevertheless, our results highlight the advantages of a single point of contact, a comprehensive legal framework, and of a system that relies less on litigation.
Keywords: Privacy, Data Protection, Redress, Complaints Investigation, Canada, U.S.
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