An employee of a Canadian company with a LiveJournal nickname of Vivace ma con Grazia is writing about his experience dealing with a request for access to personal information under PIPEDA. He's not happy.
Vivace ma con Grazia - The PIPEDA Saga, Part 1
In January 2004, some absolutely lovely Canadian legislation came into effect, known as The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (or, more concisely PIPEDA). The whole thing is maddeningly complex from my point of view, but in short it serves to both prevent the sharing of an individual's personal information by corporations, and to allow individuals to request of Canadian corporations a complete disclosure of all personal information held by that corporation about the individual in question. At work, I am currently working on my share of a response to one of these information requests. And let me tell you, it's one royal pain in the ass....
Over the course of a few postings here, I'm going to try to share some of the techniques we develop for handling this search. I'll likely skip over how we manage the search of our paper records, since I'm not very involved with that, but I will try to provide some technical details of our electronic searches, and hopefully (when I can get approval to do so) some of the details of our decision making process. I'm hoping this will be useful to some poor sysadmin in the future.