You don't often see media stories about this issue, but it clearly is one that businesses have to start dealing with in the PIPEDA age. I've seen many insurance brokers whose offices are nothing but short cubicles, where any conversation is easily overheard and computer monitors are visible from anywhere in the room. The safeguards principle from PIPEDA requires that personal information be protected against accidental disclosure and an environment where there is no soundproofing barrier clearly does not qualify:
"Better office privacy sought
By J SWYGART
The Poor Relief office located in the Adams County Service Complex is suffering from growing pains. Or, more correctly, from privacy pains.
Dan Bieberich, Root Township trustee and chairman of the consolidated poor relief office, which serves the needs of poverty-level families and individuals in 11 of the 12 townships in Adams County (Washington Township has its own poor relief office) told county commissioners on Monday that the single room used by the agency at its Complex location results from time to time in 'privacy problems.'
'It's nothing we can't live with right now. We have a sufficient amount of square footage, but it's something we need to address in the future,' Bieberich said. 'We are running into privacy issues when interviewing some applicants, by having just a single room where anyone can walk in.'
Bieberich asked the commissioners if another room in the Complex is available for use, or if a wall could be constructed in the agency's current room.
Steve Krull, the county's buildings and grounds supervisor, was instructed by the commissioners to research the options and put together a cost estimate to modify the existing Poor Relief office.
'Unless there's a major expense, let's go ahead with this,' said Commissioner Doug Bauman."