Both Google and Yahoo! have run into litigation (class actions) in the US for allegedly looking at (inspecting, reviewing, mining) information in emails carried over their free email services, gmail.com and yahoo.com. It is not alleged that any human being is opening the mail and reading it. It’s all about automated review in order to test the interests of the senders and perhaps recipients, for marketing purposes.
Would such activity be prohibited under PIPEDA in Canada too? Is that ‘collecting personal information’? Is the type of information being collected actually PI or PII?
Any use made of the information by security services (NSA or FBI in the US, CSIS or RCMP in Canada) is a separate issue – but would PIPEDA have any impact on that here? It is not obviously ‘law enforcement’ at this ‘inspect it all’ stage.