Privacy Commissioner declining to investigate US data brokers

Recently, the Office of the Canadian Privacy Commissioner signaled its decision to not investigate US data brokers citing lack of jurisdiction to compel the production of evidence from entities located outside of Canada. The Privacy Commissioner’s view on this issue was communicated by way of a response to a complaint received approximately 11 months earlier and did not directly relate to the recent Maclean’s article about US data brokers obtaining cell phone records of Canadians. It is interesting to note that calls for action regarding the cell phone incident have focused on the Privacy Commissioner rather than the police. Although I’m not a criminal lawyer, I would think that if personal data, such as cell phone records, is obtained through impersonation or under false pretenses then a crime may have been committed and should be investigated as such.