On December 20, 2010, the Federal Court of Canada fined consumer credit agency TransUnion of Canada Inc. under Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).  TransUnion was ordered to pay approximately $5,000 to a consumer who was unable to secure a loan after TransUnion reported inaccurate credit information to his bank. 

The negative information should have been attributed to a different individual with a similar name and similar address.  The court held that even though the error may have been caused by a “commercially sensible” matching system, the reported credit information was not “sufficiently accurate, complete, and up-to-date” for the purposes for which it was used.

The damages award is the first under the applicable section of PIPEDA in the statute’s ten-year history.  The court found that while damages are discretionary under the statute, they were appropriate as to TransUnion:  “Where the credit reporting service has failed to take prompt, reasonable steps to correct the record and to therefore ameliorate the embarrassment of the individual, it should expect that it will be ordered to compensate him for the humiliation it has caused.”

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Photo of Libbie Canter Libbie Canter

Libbie Canter represents a wide variety of multinational companies on privacy, cyber security, and technology transaction issues, including helping clients with their most complex privacy challenges and the development of governance frameworks and processes to comply with global privacy laws. She routinely supports…

Libbie Canter represents a wide variety of multinational companies on privacy, cyber security, and technology transaction issues, including helping clients with their most complex privacy challenges and the development of governance frameworks and processes to comply with global privacy laws. She routinely supports clients on their efforts to launch new products and services involving emerging technologies, and she has assisted dozens of clients with their efforts to prepare for and comply with federal and state privacy laws, including the California Consumer Privacy Act and California Privacy Rights Act.

Libbie represents clients across industries, but she also has deep expertise in advising clients in highly-regulated sectors, including financial services and digital health companies. She counsels these companies — and their technology and advertising partners — on how to address legacy regulatory issues and the cutting edge issues that have emerged with industry innovations and data collaborations.