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Cannabis P.E.I. makes changes after privacy commissioner review

A Summerside woman recently pleaded guilty to two counts of theft valued less than $5,000 for stealing marijuana from PEI Cannabis. The thefts are believed to be the first of their kind in the province.
A review of Cannabis P.E.I.’s practices has led to the province’s privacy commissioner making several recommendations to tighten the protection of customers’ personal information. - SaltWire file photo

A review of Cannabis P.E.I.’s practices has led to the province’s privacy commissioner making several recommendations to tighten the protection of customers’ personal information.

Privacy commissioner Karen Rose started an investigation after concerns were raised about electronic scanning of customer identification cards at Cannabis P.E.I. stores.

Karen Rose
Karen Rose

That practice ended soon after the stores opened because of privacy concerns raised by the public, but Rose conducted a further review of the organization’s practices.

In her decision, Rose wrote that Cannabis P.E.I. is using reasonable security measures to protect personal information.

“However, as the security of online sales and electronic databases is an ever-evolving risk, the commissioner recommended that Cannabis P.E.I. incorporate proactive measures, including periodic and comprehensive reviews and testing of their security measures,” Rose wrote.

Cannabis P.E.I. is responsible for the province’s sale of legal marijuana under the P.E.I. Cannabis Management Corporation, which was created in response to the federal government’s move to legalize the drug.

Its first store opened in October 2018.

Rose’s review flagged a few issues with Cannabis P.E.I. that led to several recommendations, including changing signage in stores related to the use of video surveillance.

She also recommended Cannabis P.E.I. stop asking for a website visitor’s date of birth before they can access the site.

Zach Currie, director of cannabis operations for the P.E.I. Cannabis Management Corporation, said that recommendation has been implemented along with several other changes.

As a relatively new organization, Currie said he thanked Rose for the review.

“For us, it was a very meaningful exercise.”

Currie said the issues Rose found were “fairly minor” and all of the recommendations have been implemented.

It’s important for the organization to balance the public policy priorities of legalization, including protecting youth and maintaining the protection of personal information, Currie said.

“It is a balancing act.”

Twitter.com/ryanrross

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