Source: REUTERS | MAY 21ST, 2021

Canada's Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien, is among those who've voiced concern that Canada's privacy laws could leave consumer and business data vulnerable. Canada’s existing privacy laws leave consumers and businesses exposed to misuses of data, mainly due to outdated rules and lack of enforcement ability for regulators, privacy commissioners and experts say, and a proposed new bill does not necessarily solve these issues.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government introduced Bill C-11 in November 2020, intended to modernize the oversight of data protection, but critics say it falls short of this goal. The bill has several hoops to pass through before it becomes law.

Canada’s data privacy laws saw a significant update roughly 20 years ago.

Changing technology — such as facial recognition and increased use of artificial intelligence – combined with a lack of enforcement power have “absolutely” left Canadians unprotected from data leaks and misuse, according to Jill Clayton, Alberta’s privacy commissioner.

The dearth of action means that Canada is “seriously starting to fall behind” jurisdictions like Europe, which implemented a landmark set of privacy laws in 2018, Clayton said.

In the United Kingdom, for instance, regulators have more enforcement powers, such as carrying out FBI-style raids, while Canadian regulators are often unable to deliver more than a slap on the wrist.

The lack of enforcement power was highlighted earlier this year, when Daniel Therrien, current federal privacy commissioner, issued a joint report with provincial counterparts into U.S. facial recognition Clearview AI’s actions in Canada.

The commissioners condemned the company’s practice of using Canadians’ photos posted to social media to build a database, but could not force the company to return or delete the data.

Similarly, when sensitive information of 15 million Canadians was leaked at LifeLabs, Canada’s largest provider of specialty medical laboratory testing, commissioners said they were limited in their ability to hand out appropriate punishment.

One outcome of Canada’s outdated privacy law is that industries that handle a lot of data, such as banks, have had to evolve ahead of the legislation due to the increasing gap between modern technologies and existing laws, said Robert Colangelo, senior vice president of the global financial institutions group at DBRS Morningstar.

To strengthen Bill C-11, Therrien’s office submitted 60 recommendations to the government, including a shift in focus towards privacy rights of individuals and away from prioritizing commercial interests.

A spokesman for Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said the bill provides a clear framework of rules that allow “Canadian businesses to innovate while protecting Canadians’ privacy,” and its passage is “a top priority.”

The bill also proposes companies that fail to protect the personal information of Canadians could be fined up to 5% of global revenue. Therrien said in a recent statement said that the penalty is “unjustifiably narrow and protracted.”

David Fraser, a lawyer at McInnes Cooper who advises Fortune-100 companies on technology and privacy laws, acknowledges that Bill C-11 is a compromise, but is concerned the bill would make the privacy commissioner “judge, jury and executioner.”




What Do Apple’s New iPhone Privacy Changes Mean for Consumers and Businesses?

On 4.27.2021REUTERS News Agency reported that Apple recently began rolling out an update of its iOS operating system with new privacy controls designed to limit digital advertisers from tracking iPhone users. For Apple’s more than 1 billion iPhone users, the change will mean a new pop-up notification in some apps seeking their permission to collect data that Apple believes could be used to track their browsing habits across third-party apps and websites.

Personally I’m delighted to hear that these new rules will bring a seismic change to the nearly $100 billion mobile advertising market if most iPhone users decline to allow data collection - although the exact impact remains unclear at this time. How Android’s OS is upgraded is another unknown – although my bet is that ABC will not follow suit as a similar privacy update would make a dent in its bottom line. Some analysts believe that fewer than one in three users are likely to say “yes” to an app’s pop-up like this: “XYZ would like permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies. [ Yes | No ]” 

My iPhone has a “tracking” menu in the privacy settings where I can opt-out of tracking from any or all apps on my phone. 

The relatively FREE Ride is finally over!

Both advertisers and app developers who sell ad inventory claim that the opt-out option will make advertising less effective. The ad industry has gathered data about people’s web browsing behavior in order to serve up ads since 2008.

Before that multi-media audience projections based on media surveys was the foundation on which an affective advertising campaign was built. The high cost of media research limited the number of Canadian companies that utilized media research. Smaller, insightful companies created VERY effective advertising campaigns by carefully testing the response to their creative and media options over time – effectively doing for themselves (at a price) what Google and social media claimed to do (better) for them – for free.      

The fear that “a shrinking pool of user data could lead to lower sales for brands” is unfounded and will prove to be false. While the “brand” will lose “price shoppers”, if the brand’s foundation is build on “price” – it’s not a brand anyway. So nothing’s lost. While I agree that there will be “Lower ad revenue for mobile apps and publishers.” and  that “Apple’s move has deepened a rift with Facebook Inc, which has said the change will hurt small businesses because it will impede their ability to cost-effectively find local customers to target with advertisements.”, this is bullshit and it shouldn’t worry you. This is what capitalism is all about. No one cried when online search and social advertising shut down classified advertising in millions of print publications around the world. I’ll be damned if I’m going to shed a tear for app developers or facebook. 

I’m delighted that Apple is giving customers more control over their data. I like that Apple has introduced privacy “nutrition labels” to its App Store to show users what data an app collect.

I’m fine with first party data in-app ads.

I’m delighted that apps that want to send me ads based on data from third-party websites will need to seek permission.




STOP - paraprosdokians ahead!

Here’s a great way to add stopping power to your headline copy.

Paraprosdokians turns of phrase in which the latter part of the sentence isn't what you expected based on the first part of the sentence. They encourage you to re-think the entire statement – which is exactly what you want folks to do when they read and engage with your copy. Here are some of the more famous ones.

  • If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
  • The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it’s still on my list.
  • We never really grow up, we just learn how to act in public.
  • War does not determine who is right ... only who is left.
  • Where there's a will, I want to be in it.
  • I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.
  • You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they've tried everything else.
  • If I could just say a few words … I'd be a better public speaker.
  • I haven’t slept for 10 days, because that would be too long.
  • Behind every great man there's a woman, rolling her eyes.
  • I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it.
  • You’re never too old to learn – something stupid.
  • Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
  • Actually you don’t really need a parachute to skydive. You only need one to skydive twice.
  • Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut and still think they’re sexy.
  • On the job application where it says, “In case of an emergency, notify . . . “ I answered “A doctor”.
  • I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I’m blaming you.
  • To steal from one person is plagiarism, to steal from many is research.
  • Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.  




Canada Post DM Promotion


I love this C.P. D.M. promotion for a few reasons.

It reminds us that a hand-written note is still a very affordable gift to someone, and for the recipient a keep-sake that will be probably be kept a lot longer than a text message or an e-mail (along with special birthday and x-mas cards).

It reinforces the Canada Post brand’s value at a time when many boxes delivered by C.P. are branded Amazon. 

For Canada Post it’s a VERY affordable test given they own the infrastructure.

Response rates are very simple and easy to track right down to FSA.

It reminds household residents who received this piece and      are employed in an advertising or marketing capacity that Canada Post DM is a VERY smart and VERY viable alternative to unaddressed mail and online marketing.

Lets hope Canada Post remembers another core rule of DM: message frequency. Make sure this is not the 1st and last reminder. 




Targeting “WE” versus “ME”

Here are some excerpts from an article that appeared in The Economist last December that will impact house-hold marketing and advertising because the model that describes H.H. occupancy, income, age along with brand use and attitudes are changing rapidly.    

  • The pandemic may be encouraging people to live in larger groups.
  • In Britain households where couples share with at least one other adult were the fastest-growing type in the two decades to 2019. 
  • In Canada 6% of the population lived in multigenerational households by 2016, and it was the fastest-growing type of living. 
  • By 2016 20% of Australia’s 24.5m people were living with others from outside their immediate family, a 42% increase on 15 years earlier.
  • Almost two thirds of households are extended family ones in Senegal. Extended families provide a safety net where the state does not, pooling cash to pay medical bills and letting jobless nephews eat from the communal pot. 
  • In America the share of households made up of married couples with children halved between 1970 and 2019. People are marrying less and later. Marriages are less likely than they were to last until death.
  • The West has seen a dramatic rise in single-person households. From France to Japan, they make up over a third of the total number. In Germany they account for 40% of the total, in Finland 41%.
  • In Britain, the average house costs more than eight times the average salary, up from four times in the mid-1990s. Homes are less affordable for single women, who earn less than men. The number of older divorcees who live alone has gone up. In the absence of new construction, this squeezes the supply for younger people, who are less wealthy. “As more people lose their jobs [because of the pandemic] or have their pay or their hours cut, sharing a household with more people is a way to pay the bills,”.
  • Companies have jumped on this opportunity. The Collective, a British outfit, runs three co-living buildings, one in New York and two in London. Its “members”, whose average tenancy is nine months, live in studio flats but share lounges, gyms and a roster of events from cocktail-mixing to running clubs. The firm has another 9,000 units in development.
  • Although urban buildings run by the likes of The Collective are aimed mainly at young, single professionals, the types of people seeking to live this way are growing more diverse. The Collective houses people aged 18 to 67 years old (the average is 30). A survey by Build Asset Management, a British firm that runs serviced accommodation, said that in the year to June 2020 it saw a 136% rise in inquiries about shared rental accommodation from couples. 
  • An American company, last year opened two buildings in New York designed for families rather than singles or couples. Would-be residents can choose an apartment with up to four bedrooms and access to communal facilities and services, including a play area and nannies.
  • The most experimental housing today involves multiple generations of unrelated people who did not get a say on whom they lived with. Perhaps unsurprisingly it is found in Scandinavia. Some 60% of the residents of the 51 apartments in Sällbo, a public-housing project in the Swedish town of Helsingborg, are over 70. The other 40% are young people, half of them refugees. Residents must pass an interview to get into the community, and sign a contract to spend two hours per week socializing with neighbours. This could mean sitting in a shared lounge reading a book or doing shopping for one of the older members. The project is to run for two years. If it is judged successful, tenants will be given permanent homes.

NOTE: The full article appeared in the Economist International print edition on December 5th, 2020 under the headline "Nuclear retreat".