THE CANADIAN PRESS/Doug Ives
Canada's privacy commissioner says Loblaw Companies Ltd. initially collected too much personal information from some customers requesting a gift card tied to an alleged bread price-fixing scandal.
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The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada conducted a six-month investigation after a consumer complained the grocer was requesting unnecessary information as part of its Loblaw Card Program.
Loblaw offered the $25 gift card as a goodwill gesture after admitting it participated in an alleged industry-wide arrangement to co-ordinate bread price increases.
To receive the gift card customers had to fill out an online form that asked for their name and address. Approximately 10% of customers were told they needed to provide additional information such as a utility bill or a driver's licence in order to receive the $25 gift card.
When the investigation launched in March 2018, Kevin Groh, Loblaw vice-president of corporate affairs, said there were various triggers that might have lead the company to ask for further confirmation, including large numbers of registrations from a single address, multiple requests under a single or similar name, or irregularities like an invalid address or email in a registration.
READ: Loblaw places restrictions on gift card offer after bread price fixing
The commissioner's office said in a statement that Loblaw took steps to limit the information it was collecting during the investigation and it was satisfied with those measures.
Loblaw spokeswoman Catherine Thomas said in a statement that the retailer welcomed the finding that any concerns with the program's privacy and anti-fraud safeguards "were either not well founded or resolved."