How Concerned Should Canadian Cannabis Customers be About Privacy?

Recreational hashish has been legalized in Canada for a number of months now, however the subsequent time you slide by way of a leisure hashish store within the Six, you’d greatest come outfitted with loonies and toonies as an alternative of a bank card.

In a current assertion issued by Daniel Therrien, Canada’s privateness commissioner, he urged hashish sellers and consumers throughout the nation to acquire a greater understanding of their privateness rights. To maintain the private info of shoppers protected, Therrien instructed that solely money ought to be used for pot-related transactions.

Although leisure hashish was formally legalized in Canada again in October 2018, the privateness watchdog warned that even lawful marijuana customers can be banned from getting into nations the place hashish stays unlawful.

“The OPC [Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada] recognizes the sensitive nature of cannabis-related transactions,” the assertion reads. “Although hashish is authorized in Canada, it stays unlawful in most jurisdictions outdoors of Canada. Some nations might, for instance, deny entry to people in the event that they know they’ve bought hashish, even lawfully.

In the previous, there have been a number of reviews of Canadians getting barred from getting into the United States for admitting to hashish use, even when trying to cross right into a state the place adult-use legalization is already in impact, resembling Washington state.

Conversely, a couple of overseas nations have requested their very own residents to not smoke authorized buds whereas vacationing within the Great White North.

How Concerned Should Canadian Cannabis Customers be About Privacy?

iPolitics/Matthew Usherwood

Privacy Watchdog Issues Guidelines for Cannabis Sellers and Buyers  

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) launched a handful of tips for each hashish sellers and consumers to comply with. This doc was created to assist these events perceive the proper to privateness and obligations beneath the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

This Canadian regulation successfully defines private info as “information about an identifiable individual,” which may embrace probably delicate knowledge like your identify, date of delivery, driver’s license quantity, social insurance coverage quantity, monetary info, and so forth.

To assist shield authorized hashish shoppers from having their private info used towards them, the privateness watchdog provided quite a lot of suggestions to retailers and consumers.

For occasion, the OPC’s steerage states that hashish outlets ought to “obtain meaningful consent before collecting any personal information” and that they “should be clear on what information they are required to collect during in-person transactions.”

However, there’s little that hashish retailers can do when a buyer decides to make use of a bank card, as the vendor might be required by regulation to gather the bank card quantity and cardholder’s identify. Similarly, most on-line hashish retailers may also have to collect their clients’ knowledge, together with info associated to identification, cost, and delivery.  

How Concerned Should Canadian Cannabis Customers be About Privacy?


Cash Transactions Are Not an Option for All Canadians

Unfortunately, not each Canadian citizen has the posh of dwelling near a leisure store, which means that money isn’t all the time an choice. In Ontario, leisure hashish shops aren’t scheduled to open till a minimum of April 1, 2019, which leaves clients turning to on-line retailers or the black market.  

There have additionally been some alarming knowledge breaches which have put the private info of Canadian hashish customers in jeopardy. Back in November 2018, CBC reported that a breach into the Ontario Cannabis Store’s database affected the knowledge of round four,500 clients.

Ultimately, one of many few surefire options that the OPC got here up with for retailers is that they solely request crucial info to verify that the client is of authorized age.

“One way to minimize the possibility of disclosure to foreign governments (given that cannabis use is not legal in most other jurisdictions), and reduce the impacts of a data breach, or other incidents that reveal purchasers’ names or other personal information, is to refrain from recording customers’ personal information,” the steerage doc states.

Another suggestion talked about within the steerage is that hashish shops acquire e mail addresses for mailing lists, however not the client’s precise identify.

Of course, on the finish of the day, the safety of private info can also be within the palms of the buyer. As lengthy as hashish customers in Canada use their bank card or willingly share private info with retailers, they run the danger of being prevented from getting into nations which have but to offer authorized pot the inexperienced mild.


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