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A Vancouver woman is sounding the alarm for millions of Canadians who have credit and debit cards, after her financial information was shared without her realizing it.
Turns out, some cards have “updating services” that allow banking information to be shared with other companies — a little-known fact for most customers, and something a privacy expert says needs to change.
Yet, none of the three companies involved will explain how her new debit card data ended up with Pay Pal.
After initially telling Go Public it got Acuña's information from the "account update services," Pay Pal backtracked a few days later, saying the account updater service "doesn't apply" in Acuña's case. It won't say, citing customer confidentiality — even though Acuña agreed to waive confidentiality to allow the company to answer Go Public's questions.
"[They said] they don't know who gave Pay Pal my information, which I don't think is a very good answer," Acuña said.
It turns out Acuña's information shouldn't have been shared at all, since only Visa credit — not debit — cards are part of the updating agreement with TD.
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But that's not what they did." The merchants who get the automatic updates pay for the service.
Thomas Keenan, author of "Banks make a business out of information sharing.
Ann Cavoukian, former privacy commissioner of Ontario, says customers should have to agree to opt-in to services that share updated credit card information with third parties.
Right now, customers are automatically opted-in to the service.