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Privacy Law for Canadian Companies

Privacy is becoming more complex, is your business ready?

We Advise Companies on Privacy Matters Related to:

SAAS Websites

Mobile Applications

Software Development

Data Licensing and Analytics

Frequently Asked Privacy Law Questions

Here are some issues that come up often for Canadian based companies.

Do I need a Privacy Policy?

In Canada, privacy policies are required by law for organizations collecting personal information. We advise clients on their obligations under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and implementing privacy policies. With consumers and website users becoming more knowledgeable and concerned about their online privacy rights, Canadian companies, need to pay careful attention to their privacy practices.

Am I protected by having a Privacy Policy?

In short, no. Privacy policies are important for meeting your statutory obligations and setting out how you collect, store and use personal information. It does not mean you will not be sued, particularly if your organization, employees or people you are responsible for at law breach the privacy policy. Sometimes employees disregard privacy policies (deliberately or by accident). To meet your PIPEDA responsibilities you need safeguards in place to ensure people within your organizations, or third parties you provide personal information to, comply with their privacy obligations. 

Do we need a Privacy Officer?

Every organization subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is required to designate an individual who is accountable for its compliance with the Act (often called a Privacy Officer). Your organization can be required to make the identity of the Privacy Officer known on request.

Do I have to comply with the GDPR as a Canadian company?

The European Union’s (“EU’s”) new privacy regulation, the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) impacts companies in Canada that collect or use personal information from European persons. If your Canadian business collects or uses EU personal information, you will want to make sure you have a plan to comply. We wrote an article on the GDPR for our friends at Rewind.io (which you can read here). 

Core Legislative Privacy Principles in Canada

In Canada, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, SC 2000, c 5 (PIPEDA) sets out the core principles to comply with in collecting personal information. 

Principle 1 — Accountability

An organization is responsible for personal information under its control and shall designate an individual or individuals who are accountable for the organization’s compliance.

Principle 2 — Identifying Purposes

The purposes for which personal information is collected shall be identified by the organization at or before the time the information is collected.

Principle 3 - Consent

The knowledge and consent of the individual are required for the collection, use, or disclosure of personal information, except where inappropriate.

Principle 4 — Limiting Collection

The collection of personal information shall be limited to that which is necessary for the purposes identified by the organization. Information shall be collected by fair and lawful means.

Principle 5 —Limiting Use, Disclosure, and Retention

Personal information shall not be used or disclosed for purposes other than those for which it was collected, except with the consent of the individual or as required by law. Personal information shall be retained only as long as necessary for the fulfilment of those purposes.

Principle 6 — Accuracy

Personal information shall be as accurate, complete, and up-to-date as is necessary for the purposes for which it is to be used.

Principle 7 — Safeguards

Personal information shall be protected by security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information.

Principle 8 — Openness

An organization shall make readily available to individuals specific information about its policies and practices relating to the management of personal information.

Principle 9 — Individual Access

Upon request, an individual shall be informed of the existence, use, and disclosure of his or her personal information and shall be given access to that information. An individual shall be able to challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information and have it amended as appropriate.

Principle 10 — Challenging Compliance

An individual shall be able to address a challenge concerning compliance with the above principles to the designated individual or individuals accountable for the organization’s compliance.

Time to Get Started on Your Privacy Policy?

Head on over to our website hosted at webterms.ca