Privacy for Growing & Established Businesses

 In Blog, Commercial Litigation, Corporate & Commercial Law, Sharma, Vikas

A Privacy Policy is essential for any business; however it is crucial for businesses which collect, use, or disclose personal information. In recent years, a large amount of privacy breaches have caused regulators to review Canada’s data and privacy rights.

The result of a privacy breach may be quite drastic for the individuals and organizations involved and the organizations will bear great reputational damage. Reputational damage may lead to a loss of long-term business and possible class action lawsuits. It is important to stay up-to-date regarding the Canadian privacy law landscape in order to foster customer relations as it shows greater care for customer’s personal information.

Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act

Canada has a variety of organizations and agencies which administer the compliance of Privacy Laws. This blog will outline the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which legislates the handling of personal information.

PIPEDA applies to the collection, use, or disclosure of personal information in the commercial context. Personal Information includes information about an identifiable individual.

Information may take the following forms:

  • age, name, ID numbers, income, ethnic origin, or blood type;
  • opinions, evaluations, comments, social status, or disciplinary actions; and
  • employee files, credit records, loan records, medical records, the existence of a dispute between a consumer and a merchant, intentions (for example, to acquire goods or services, or change jobs).

PIPEDA does not apply to every organization. PIPEDA does not cover the following situations:

  • Personal information handled by federal government organizations listed under the Privacy Act;
  • Provincial or territorial governments and their agents;
  • Business contact information such as an employee’s name, title, business address, telephone number or email addresses that is collected, used or disclosed solely for the purpose of communicating with that person in relation to their employment or profession;
  • When an individual collects personal information for personal purposes; and
  • Collection, use or disclosure of personal information solely for journalistic, artistic, or literary purposes.

Offences under PIPEDA are:

  • Destroying of personal information that has been requested by an individual;
  • To retaliate against an employee who has complained to the Commissioner; or
  • To obstruct an investigation being performed by the commissioner.

Learn more about PIPEDA by clicking here.

For more information about PIPEDA and how it can impact your business, contact the experts at Brown Beattie O’Donovan.

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