Company Changes Policy on Data Collection By Alfred Branch, Jr. The Office of Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, Canada this week cited Ticketmaster...

Company Changes Policy on Data Collection

By Alfred Branch, Jr.

The Office of Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, Canada this week cited Ticketmaster Canada for violating the Personal Information Protection Act when the company required customers to disclose too much personal information when buying tickets online.

Essentially, before someone could buy tickets from the company’s website, they had to enter personal information and consent to that data being used for marketing purposes. According to the commissioner’s office, they found “that Ticketmaster’s requirement that customers consent to the use of their personal information by event providers for marketing purposes is beyond what is necessary for the ticket sales transaction.”

In addition, the company was cited for making it too difficult to opt out of any of the information requirements and offered a privacy policy statement on its website that was overly convoluted at more than 3,000 words. The full, 12-page report is located here. Ticketmaster Canada did not respond to a request for comment.

Colin McKay, spokesperson for the national Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, said Ticketmaster Canada worked with the privacy commissioner’s office to correct the matter. “They’re complying,” McKay said, adding that the company did not face a fine or any specific punishment.

The commissioner’s office, however, recommended Ticketmaster Canada stop requiring customers to consent to their personal information being used for marketing purposes; provide a better opt-out option to avoid their personal information being used; improve their agreements with event providers so that this data is not misused; and revise the privacy policy to make it easier to navigate and understand.

Ticketmaster Canada “fully cooperated with [the] Office throughout this investigation and committed to implementing the recommendations in this report,” according to the commissioner’s office.

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