As the Ontario Cannabis Store (“OCS”) prepares to launch its online store on October 17, 2018, customer privacy is a first priority.
From day one, the OCS has followed “Privacy by Design” principles to develop a safe, secure online shopping experience for adults 19 and over. Consumers expect the OCS to keep their purchases confidential and deliberate choices have been made to protect personal information.
Unlike many online retailers, the OCS wants the lightest possible touch on consumer data. Data residency and other key privacy conditions were requirements that informed the OCS’s selection of an e-commerce platform partner, and the OCS team has worked with all of its selected service providers to deliver a safe and secure online store. The OCS will minimize the amount of customer data collected and kept, and will store that data in Canada.
The online site will advise customers why the OCS is collecting limited, required information, and will not use or share it for any other purposes. Collected personal information will never be sold to third parties. It will be kept for the minimum length of time required by law, then deleted as soon as possible. Visitors to the site will not be required to create an online account or profile.
Upon delivery of the product, the delivery agent will use identification procedures similar to those used for alcohol sales. The trained delivery agent will not take a copy of the identification.
A third-party risk assessment of OCS privacy and security systems has confirmed that the online store will meet or exceed global e-commerce standards. Once launched, the OCS will implement 24/7 security monitoring and ongoing security testing, and a privacy program to sustain the OCS’s mandate for personal information protection. The OCS will monitor best practices to stay at the forefront of e-commerce privacy and security.
The OCS is focused on providing safe and responsible access to recreational cannabis through its online retail channel when it becomes legal on October 17, and establishing a wholesale distribution network to supply cannabis to legal private stores in Ontario once legislative requirements are put in place.