The Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) says it will release the results of an investigation Thursday into whether Home Depot shared customer data with Facebook’s parent company.
A statement from the office says the investigation focused on sharing electronic receipt data with Meta Platforms, which owns Facebook and Instagram.
No further details have been released about the investigation, including what prompted the OPC to intervene and when the investigation began. A spokesperson for the privacy watchdog declined a request for comment.
A Home Depot spokesperson chose to wait for the report to be released to answer questions about when the company was first notified of the investigation and how long its cooperation would last.
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The investigation focused solely on the Canadian arm of the North American big-box home improvement chain, which operates more than 180 stores in Canada and another 130 in Mexico. Its 2,000 US stores make Home Depot the largest home improvement store chain in the United States.
Shoppers in Canadian stores are usually asked to provide their email address to receive a paperless receipt at checkout or they can opt for a hard copy.
Electronic receipts are then shared in emails that include a link to Home Depot Canada’s privacy statement, which states that the company will share customer information with “our Canadian, U.S. and foreign affiliates and service providers who provide services on our behalf, such as delivery, payment and call service companies.
It also indicates that the information may be shared with “our business partners” in the event of joint promotion. But the statement does not mention social media companies or advertisers.
The receipts themselves are similar to paper receipts and contain the place of purchase, the payment option used and the items that were purchased.
The Home Depot has been the victim of data breaches in the past, including in 2014 when hackers accessed 56 million debit and credit card information from the chain’s payment systems across all stores in the United States. United and Canada.
The channel also revealed that the months-long hack accessed 53 million email addresses.
The breach led to a nationwide class action settlement that included a $250,000 settlement fund for Canadian customers who proved they suffered losses.
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The OPC and privacy watchdogs in Ontario, Alberta and Quebec were notified by the company at the time of the breach and concluded that Home Depot had not breached the Canadian privacy laws.
Meta Platforms has been the subject of multiple controversies over the sharing of user data, including allowing third parties like Cambridge Analytica to access it.
Last August, the social media giant settled a four-year lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco over its practices of sharing data with third parties for an undisclosed amount.
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