Facebook’s fine shows alignment between data privacy and competition law in Canada

July 28, 2020

Privacy senior associate Ronak Shah has told PaRR that the Competition Bureau’s $9 million Facebook fine is the first time that Canada has seen a “convergence of privacy and competition law.”

In May, Facebook agreed to pay the hefty penalty for making misleading privacy claims about the access, use, and sharing of Canadian users’ personal information.  

Ronak stressed the importance for companies that use consumer data to “think about how there can be multiple regulatory risk assessments... not only from a privacy perspective but also from a competition perspective.”

READ MORE: Ronak and a team of Torys lawyers penned an analysis of the Competition Bureau’s investigation into Facebook.

The piece highlights the uniqueness of the case, as it involves cooperation from the Competition Bureau, the federal Privacy Commissioner and provincial privacy commissioners whose work regarding data privacy, although similar, is not identical.

Because of willingness of these entities to work together, Ronak said companies now face “concurrent, multiple investigations by multiple regulators”.

Ronak predicts that going forward, businesses will want to be mindful of more “convergence, where you [can] see informal sharing of information between regulators about investigations that are ongoing.”   

Subscribers can read the full article on PaRR’s website.

You can learn more about our Privacy team on the practice page.


Press Contact