An investigation of social-networking site Nexopia reveals that it has violated Canadian privacy law, says Jennifer Stoddart, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, in a news release. â€œOur investigation found Nexopia has inappropriate default privacy settings; provided inadequate information about a number of privacy practices; and keeps personal information indefinitely â€“ even after people select a â€˜Delete Accountâ€™ option,â€ Stoddart said.
Prompted by a complaint by the Ottawa-based Public Interest Advocacy Centre, the investigation identified several areas where Nexopia was in breach of federal private-sector privacy legislation, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).Â These included:
- Default settings that were particularly inappropriate for Nexopiaâ€™s target youth audience, and a lack of clarity about available privacy settings;
- A lack of meaningful consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information collected at registration;
- The sharing of personal information with advertisers and other third parties without proper consent; and
- The indefinite retention of personal information.
The investigation resulted in a total of 24 recommendations.
The Privacy Commissioner was satisfied with Nexopiaâ€™s response to 20 of those recommendations.Â In those cases, the allegations are well-founded and conditionally resolved.Â This finding, which the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada introduced on January 1, 2012, is used when the Office has found that an organization has contravened PIPEDA, but the organization has made an express commitment to demonstrate its implementation of corrective measures within a specified time period after the Officeâ€™s findings are issued.
The unresolved issues involve four recommendations aimed at addressing concerns about Nexopiaâ€™s retention of usersâ€™ personal information. Nexopia keeps personal information indefinitely, even though federal privacy law requires companies to develop retention policies. […]
â€œWe are disappointed with Nexopiaâ€™s position with respect to these outstanding issues.Â We are addressing these unresolved issues in accordance with my authorities under PIPEDA, which include the option of going to Federal Court to seek to have the recommendations enforced,â€ says Commissioner Stoddart.