This class action was commenced in Ontario, Canada, on September 30, 2020, and was amended January 11, 2021.
The original claim included Canadian residents in all provinces and territories (the “action”). The Representative Plaintiff in the action stated that the Defendants are liable for a privacy breach. The Theory of the Case is that when a Canadian customer purchases, leases, or even has their vehicle serviced or repaired, SiriusXM takes or accesses Personal Information belonging to the consumers.
SiriusXM obtains Private/Personal Information from the Dealership Management Records (“DMS”) and/or the Manufacturer Customer Relationship Management system (“CRM”). SiriusXM maintains this Personal Information “indefinitely.”
The claim states that SiriusXM is also engaged in data collection and data mining for the purposes of advertising and marketing for profit. In short, the pleading claims that SiriusXM engages in conduct in breach of privacy law in Canada, under PIPEDA and Provincial Privacy statutes in Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec.
SiriusXM made disclosure of the Representative Plaintiff’s records, which included Personal Information. However, SiriusXM provided information that was in the public domain. SiriusXM never completed making proper disclosure in compliance with PIPEDA.
Once counsel for the Plaintiff and class members served an Amended Statement of Claim, SiriusXM and the Plaintiff Counsel Group entered into discussions to resolve the file on the basis that SiriusXM would make a contribution to the Automobile Protection Association to advance the protection of privacy in relation to retail transactions in the automobile industry.
The Representative Plaintiff instructed counsel not to take the risks of prosecuting the action, as in Ontario the party that is ultimately successful is allowed to make submissions to try to recoup its costs. Unlike a similar class action in the United States, SiriusXM denied that it was collecting drivers’ license numbers and even VIN’s, the latter of which is not deemed Private Information in case law in Ontario.
The Defendants in the original action are Sirius XM Canada Inc., Sirius XM Canada Holdings Inc., SXM CVS Canada Inc., Sirius XM Holdings Inc., Sirius XM Radio Inc., Sirius XM Connected Vehicle Services Holdings Inc., Sirius XM Connected Vehicle Services Inc., and AdsWizz, Inc. were involved in mishandling class members’ personal information. The Defendants deny the allegations.
Class Members include any person in Canada whose personal information was collected, accessed, maintained, stored, lost, used or disclosed, directly or indirectly, at any time, by one or more of the Defendants, when that person purchased, leased, or obtained servicing for a vehicle equipped with a satellite radio receiver or similar device.
You can find a copy of the original Statement of Claim here.
Status of the Action
The Representative Plaintiff and the Defendants reached a settlement. The action was certified for the purposes of settlement. If the Court approves the settlement, the settlement will fully and finally resolve the claims set out in the action. The settlement is a compromise of disputed claims and it is not an admission of liability, wrongdoing or fault on the part of the Defendants, the settlement should also not be construed to mean that the Plaintiff concluded that SiriusXM was not liable.
The Settlement Agreement terms propose that Sirius XM Canada Inc. will pay $50,000 to the Automobile Protection Association, a consumer protection agency to research and make recommendations and assist in the preparation of a teaching module on best practices for privacy in relation to retail transactions in the automotive sector.
Sirius XM Canada Inc. has also agreed to pay Class Counsel, involving four law firms, up to $100,000 in fees and $75,000 in disbursements, if these amounts are approved by the Court, and up to $5,000 each as an honorarium for the Representative Plaintiff(s), if these amounts are approved by the Court. There are no direct payments to the class members.
If you wish to opt-out of the settlement in order to pursue a separate action against SiriusXM for compensation, either in Small Claims Court or otherwise, then you must opt-out of this settlement within 60 days of receiving Notice from SiriusXM of this proposed settlement.
The opt out deadline is June 4, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. EST.
A great deal of work was done to try to settle this action more favourably. This included a thorough response to a motion brought by SiriusXM and a tremendous amount of time and effort involved in consulting with experts including dealership owners, privacy experts, and counsel in the U.S. who worked on a similar claim which was not successful.
You can find a copy of the Settlement Agreement here.
IN SUMMARY, IF YOU WANT TO PURSUE AN ACTION AGAINST SIRIUSXM FOR COMPENSATION FOR THE DAMAGES AS ALLEGED THEN YOU NEED TO OPT-OUT OF THIS SETTLEMENT. OTHERWISE, YOU WILL BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT.