A Jolt for Privacy Law in Canada

The government has  introduced proposed amendments to the Personal Information Protection & Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). The changes to the federal law are wide-ranging and will have a significant impact on privacy law here in Canada. Here are a few highlights from a business perspective of the proposed changes in Bill C-29, and once it passes into law, we’ll provide an overview: 

  • Business Transactions: If you want to disclose personal information during negotiations for a “prospective business transaction”, the proposed changes under Section 7.1 will be of interest since they permit “…organizations that are parties to a prospective business transaction” to “use and disclose personal information without the knowledge or consent of the individual” as long as the organizations have entered into an agreement restricting use, and imposing “security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information”.  If the transaction does not proceed, then the information must be returned or destroyed.   This moves the federal law into line with the approach taken in Alberta.
  • “Business Contact Information” would be specifically excluded from the purview of PIPEDA. This category of personal information refers to an individual’s name, position name or title, work contact details and e-mail address.
  • “Employee personal information” will be treated differently under the new law, since the changes make it clear that consent is not required for the collection, use and disclosure of such information as long as it is to “establish, manage, or terminate the employment relationship” as long as the employer has notified the employee. This is best done at the outset of the employment relationship.  Again, this brings PIPEDA in line with the Alberta law.

Calgary – 09:00 MT 


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