Ticketmaster Investigated under Personal Information Protection Act

December 19, 2007

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has found that Ticketmaster Canada Ltd (Ticketmaster) contravened the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) by requiring on-line customers to consent to the use of personal information for the event provider’s marketing purposes, as a condition of a ticket sales transaction.

The investigation also determined Ticketmaster’s on-line opt-out process did not allow customers to make an informed decision about consent nor did it offer customers a reasonable opportunity to decline or object to the use of their personal information for event providers’ marketing purposes. Ticketmaster’s on-line privacy policy was also found to be complex and ambiguous.

The Complainant went on Ticketmaster’s website, www.ticketmaster.ca to purchase tickets for an event. During the on-line transaction, the Complainant was unable to proceed with his on-line ticket purchase unless he consented to Ticketmaster’s “Use of Personal Information” privacy statement. The Complainant was particularly concerned with the contents of this privacy statement, which authorized Ticketmaster to share his email address with event providers for the event providers’ marketing purposes.

Ticketmaster agreed to implement the Investigator’s recommendations, which included launching, across Canada, a new on-line and telephone opt-in mechanism for event providers’ marketing communications. This mechanism offers on-line and telephone customers the opportunity to opt-in to receiving marketing materials from event providers by checking a box during the on-line ticket purchase process. In conjunction with the new on- line opt-in mechanism, Ticketmaster posted its revised on-line privacy policy with an easily navigable table of contents linking to appropriate section of the policy.