May 20th, 2020 - 7:31pm

Consumer Protection, In the House, Press Releases, Technology

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     

May 20, 2020


ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER WORTHLESS FINE IS BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR LIBERALS WHEN IT COMES TO PROTECTING CONSUMERS:          Masse continues call for reform of Canada’s Competition, Consumer Protection and Privacy laws after Facebook escapes accountability


WINDSOR, ON – Brian Masse M.P. (Windsor West), NDP Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Critic reiterated his demand that a complete reform and modernization of Canada’s competition, consumer protection and privacy laws needs to be done immediately in light of yet another example of their inadequacies with the revelation of the Facebook tiny C $9 million settlement with Competition Bureau compared to the company’s US $5 billion fine imposed by the United States Federal Trade Commission.

“This is just another example of more significant enforcement actions by US regulators which highlights the deficiencies and shortcomings of our outdated and inadequate regulations and laws,” Masse stated. “I have proposed reforms and introduced a digital bill of rights (M-175). The Liberals have done nothing for four years while the data breaches and the privacy violations have become almost routine occurrences and the meaningless fines become just a cost of doing business.”

Facebook will pay C $9 million to settle a Competition Bureau investigation which found that the company made false or misleading claims about how much control Canadians had over the privacy of their personal information and an additional C $500,000 for the cost of the investigation. The social media giant had a US $4.9 billion (C $6.8 billion) profit in the first three months of this year.

This follows last year’s US $600 million in penalties and consumer compensation Equifax had to pay in the US while Canadian consumers received nothing, and the company was not fined in this country for the same data breach and had to just enter into a compliance agreement with the Privacy Commissioner. Earlier this year Volkswagen was a fined C $2.5 million by the Competition Bureau for the breaking the law regarding vehicle emissions while in the US the company was fined and forced to pay consumer compensation of US $14.7 billion.  The maximum fine the Competition Bureau can impose is C $10 million.

“What is a stark contrast is that the US is considering even more stringent regulations and oversight while the Liberals have done nothing in more than four years,” Masse stated. US Senator Warner has introduced The Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act would provide significant compensation to consumers for stolen data, establish mandatory penalties for data breaches, and empower the FTC with direct supervisory authority over data security. Had the bill been in effect at the time of the 2017 Equifax breach, the company would have had to pay at least $1.5 billion to victims. Canada’s Privacy Commissioner has called on the government to give the agency the required powers to act.

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For More Information: Mohummed Peer 519-982-8816