The average consumer is starting to realize how much personal data companies collect about them.
Consumers should be concerned about what data is collected, how is is used and who it is shared with.
Canadian privacy laws ( like Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) allow consumers to access their information (aka companies must respond to a request for personal information held by the company).
PIPEDA section 4.9 mandates that companies respond to Data Access Requests within 30 days of receipt. The information must be made available for free or at a reasonable cost.
Some companies use legally complex wording and vague statements in their privacy policies to hide the level of detail collected and to obfuscate how it is used. The Data Access Request allows any individual to understand (and see) what has been collected and what is being done with their information.
What is a Data Access Request?
Toronto based Citizen Lab has created and operated a site called Access My Info. The site was created to simplify how Canadian's create and submit Data Access Requests using templates.
I will submit a couple of test requests and see how companies respond. If you are a Canadian, I encourage you to try this as well.