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Sobeys says request to use personal information of COVID-19 vaccine recipients was a mistake

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Sobeys says request to use personal information of COVID-19 vaccine recipients was a mistake

Along with following public health tricks for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians are also facing questionable demands on their personal information.

The grocery giant Sobeys has been engaging of us to register online for vaccinations at company-owned pharmacies across Canada, operating as Sobeys, Safeway, Lawtons, Thrifty Meals, FreshCo and Foodland. Before of us may examine in, a message said they need to agree to Sobeys the usage of their personal information “for marketing capabilities.”

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The message raised eyebrows — for a free vaccine, administered on behalf of provincial governments?

“Signing up for spam emails … it’s no longer part and parcel of a vaccination,” said David Fraser, a privacy lawyer in Halifax.

“They’re acting as authorities agents, or functionaries may be a way to bear in ideas it. And the foundations that give protection to our privacy as far as authorities is anxious, desires to be the same principles that apply in this variety of circumstance, regardless of who’s paying the paycheck of the one that’s sticking an injection in our arms.”

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Sobeys calls the message an error in language that happened as it launched the registry fast, on March Third, to prepare for vaccine rollouts.

The company says it has no way of sending marketing information to of us signing up for vaccines.

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After it was notified by Global Information, Sobeys changed the language of the message, getting rid of the word “marketing,” and adding the term “for vaccine communication capabilities.” The company wouldn’t relate us how many purchasers signed up, ahead of the change.

Among those that want more information is the office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

In a statement, the office says the situation “does raise a quantity of privacy considerations, and we are following up with Sobeys to speak about the matter.”

“Consent to the receipt of marketing materials, as a condition for vaccine registration, would raise significant considerations,” the statement says.


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While some lines are being blurred by mistake, others are being intentionally erased, especially when it comes to COVID-19 scams.

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In Newfoundland and Labrador, which has been rattled by a COVID-19 outbreak, a authorities news release this week warned residents about a cellular phone scam where “callers are asking of us to pay for his or her COVID-19 pre-registration and vaccination.”

According to a Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre anecdote, between March 6, 2020 and February 28, 2021, 11,789 Canadians fell victim to COVID scams promising faster checking out, vaccinations and miracle therapies. The centre estimates losses of $7.2 million.

Fraser says any confusion, whether or no longer malicious or unintentional, may make so-called “vaccine hesitancy” worse.

“It’s an additional thing that any person is being compelled to judge about, when really, all they desires to be pondering about is how can I obtain vaccinated as rapidly as that you can judge of.”

The owners of two other pharmacy chains, Purchasers Drug Mart and Rexall, did no longer retort to our inquiries about their insurance policies for vaccine registration.


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Sobeys says request to use personal information of COVID-19 vaccine recipients was a mistake