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Money Loblaw under fire for gift card requests

17:06  14 march  2018
17:06  14 march  2018 Source:   msn.com

How ‘not donating’ your $25 Loblaw gift card can actually help the food bank

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Loblaw Companies Ltd.'s attempt to mitigate potential damage from an investigation into an alleged industry-wide bread price-fixing scheme through its admission of guilt and gift card offering has been met with backlash from skeptical consumers and indignant competitors alike.

Loblaw is asking some Canadians to go the extra mile to secure a gift card - and the federal privacy commissioner wants to know why. The Loblaws chain is under fire for asking some consumers very personal information in order to qualify for a gift card .

Loblaw Companies Ltd. isn't providing details as to why some Canadians have been singled out with requests to hand over additional personal information to secure their $25 gift card related to the alleged bread price-fixing scandal.

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The Loblaw Card Program is administered by JND Legal Administration (the “Program Administrator”) on behalf of Loblaw . The Intellectual Property on this website is protected from copying or reproduction under national and international trademark and copyright laws, and nothing on this site

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Customer outrage has fomented online as Canadians take to Twitter to express privacy concerns about the company's decision to ask some to provide a scan of their driver's licence or utility bill in order to receive the card. Some have also commented on the perceived irony of Loblaw's apparent fraud prevention measure, given that the gift cards are a gesture of apology for deceiving the public.

"Wait. @LoblawsON wants me to send a scan of my driver's licence to prove I am who I say I am to get that $25 gift card?? Wasn't it you guys who committed the fraud," tweeted a user with the handle Paul D'Hondt.

Privacy commissioner investigating Loblaw

  Privacy commissioner investigating Loblaw The Privacy Commissioner of Canada said Wednesday it has opened a full investigation into how Loblaw Companies Ltd. has required customers to produce personal identification to secure a $25 gift card related to the alleged bread price-fixing scandal. The investigation comes after a formal complaint to the office, as well as numerous inquiries to its information centre and through its Twitter feed, said spokeswoman Tobi Cohen. "We have reached out 0000

Ottawa is now stepping into a controversy surrounding Loblaw after it has been accused of asking customers too many personal questions when they opted into a gift card for a bread price-fixing scandal.

Signing up for gift card doesn' t preclude participating in class actions, but any payout would be deducted. Loblaws says it reserves the right to limit the number of cards that will be issued under the The card also has to be used for food products. Holders can' t use them to buy alcohol, tobacco

Such concerns are shared by privacy experts including Ann Cavoukian, expert-in-residence at Ryerson University's Privacy by Design Centre of Excellence.

"I just think that is so outrageous. First of all, they're at fault, they're doing this to correct their misbehaviour," she said.

She said a copy of a driver's licence should not be requested for a gift card meant to appease customers for wrongdoing, given the card contains a licence number, photo, signature and other personal details.

"They're asking you to give them a copy of your drivers license, which is the ultimate for identity theft."

Cavoukian, who previously served as the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, said that there were an estimated 1.1 billion cases of identity theft globally in 2016 and it's expected that number could double for 2017, so companies and individuals need to increase their vigilance around personal identification.

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Loblaw discovered that Canadians were overcharged for the cost of some packaged bread products in our stores and other grocery stores across Canada. Loblaw reserves the right to limit the total number of cards that will be issued under the Loblaw Card Program.

Loblaws is giving away gift cards because of the company’s role in a bread price-fixing scheme. But the card is not without some restrictions.

a close up of a cage© Provided by thecanadianpress.com

The company is only collecting the information for verification purposes and will then destroy it, Kevin Groh, Loblaw vice-president of corporate affairs and communications said in a statement Tuesday.

"We are in the process of issuing tens of millions of dollars in Loblaw Cards to Canadians. We think it's sensible to have safeguards in place, and to make sure the interests of our customers are protected."

The vast majority of customers won't be required to make the additional step, Groh added, without providing details as to how they are choosing to single out some people.

The gift card offer faced an earlier privacy controversy after some early visitors to the sign-up page expressed concern that the it did not initially include text about user privacy and the company's use of the email addresses it collects.

It was later updated with a privacy policy that included how the company planned to use email addresses.

In December, Loblaw and its parent company George Weston Ltd. admitted their participation in what they say is an industry-wide arrangement to co-ordinate the price of bread for at least 14 years. Days later, Loblaw offered customers a $25 gift card as a goodwill gesture.

"This is what Loblaws is doing to make up for their mistake?" Cavoukian said.

"I mean, it is the height of irony."

Woman orders sandwich, gets bag of Roll up the Rim winners .
Woman orders sandwich, gets bag of Roll up the Rim winners It most certainly did not.

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