Privacy commissioner warns against using credit cards to buy cannabis
Don't pay for pot with plastic, says Canadian Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien, if you want to ensure you don't run afoul of authorities in other countries.
"Although cannabis is legal in Canada, it remains illegal in most jurisdictions outside of Canada," reads a statement published to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's website on Monday.
"Some countries may, for example, deny entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis, even lawfully," it continues. "If consumers are concerned about using a credit card, and the option is available, they could consider using cash to buy cannabis."
The statement was released in conjunction with new guidelines meant to help both cannabis retailers and purchasers understand their rights and obligations under the law.
Announcement: OPC publishes guidance for organizations and individuals related to protecting personal information collected during cannabis transactions https://t.co/2LSKgvBi1w pic.twitter.com/UgIg8SO85q— OPC (@PrivacyPrivee) December 17, 2018
Therrien advises those who sell weed (legally and above board) to record as little information as possible about their customers and consider using email addresses, as opposed to names, in their databases.
Buyers are advised not to provide more personal information than necessary when purchasing cannabis and to "only purchase cannabis from those who keep your personal information in Canada."
"Keep in mind that storing data in the Cloud or in proprietary software means there is likely transfer or storage of that personal information outside of Canada, which could then potentially be accessed by foreign law enforcement," read the guidelines.
"Again, given the fact that cannabis use is not legal in most other jurisdictions, potential access to this data by foreign governments is of particular concern."
Interesting. The only way to buy "legal" cannabis in Ontario is with a credit card thru OCS or medicinally thru an LP online. You can buy alcohol with cash at over 100,000 establishments in Ontario. 2 months into "Legalization".https://t.co/i2QYKeabko— Martin Kaneva (@MartinDKan) December 18, 2018
Those who've already had their personal information leaked by the Ontario Cannabis Store know very well how easily their data could end up in the wrong hands.
Unfortunately, Ontarians don't have any other options. Until April 1, the OCS remains the sole source of legal marijuana in the province and, being that its an online store, cards are required to make a purchase.
Only 25 of said stores will even be allowed to open in Ontario, at first, when retail pot shops become legal, meaning that there won't be many options to use physical money either way.
Some might venture to say that it's a shame how many dispensaries in Toronto were forced to close once weed became legal in Canada. Ironically, those dispensaries may have been safer to purchase from than the government's own website for people who travel outside the country.
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