If you do, you should make sure you understand the privacy and personal information implications. CTV reports that some Canadian retailers are now offering their customers an “e-receipt”, which they can receive by email or access at dedicated websites. Sure, it’s a “green” option, and maybe more convenient for customers who want to track their purchases, but it requires the customer to provide an email address, which might allow retailers to “learn a lot about a customer’s preferences and buying habits”, according to Jason Shapiro, CEO of TransactionTree, an American company that assists organizations in developing paperless receipt strategies.
Shapiro describes the situation this way: “In the past, when you would go into a store and you would buy an item, that’s pretty much it. They don’t know who bought it or anything like that.” But with customers’ email addresses, retailers can “cross-reference customers and their purchases and market their products accordingly.”
Under Canada’s privacy laws, organizations offering paperless receipts must tell customers how they might use the customer’s email address. And with new anti-spam legislation coming into effect soon, organizations will have to take extra care to ensure they offer customers the choice to opt out of any electronic marketing efforts.
Finance and Accounting PolicyPro (FAPP) from First Reference describes organizations’ obligations with respect to enterprise, supplier, customer and employee personal information and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). See FAPP Volume II — Corporate Governance, policy 1.11 – Confidentiality and privacy.
First Reference Internal Controls, Human Resources and Compliance Editor
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