Monday, June 28, 2004

Article: The PIPEDA puzzle

The online business publication, ProfitGuide has an article on PIPEDA that is worth looking at.

The PIPEDA puzzle:

"Recent judgments prove Canada's new privacy act has surprisingly long arms

By Laura Garetson
PROFIT Magazine / June 2004

It's 2:25 P.M. Two employees, certain no one is watching, slip into their cars and drive away from work 35 minutes early. But the shift supervisor sees the entire incident with the aid of a security camera and doles out reprimands the next day. The employees take the boss to court, arguing the camera invaded their privacy. True or false: the employees win? "

One thing that it didn't highlight is that PIPEDA only applies to employees if they are employees of a "federal work, undertaking or business". (See by blog entry "PIPEDA and Employees".)

From my perspective, the article does a good job of telling businesses that PIPEDA is for just about every organization:

"Clearly, PIPEDA is not solely the concern of telemarketers and mailing-list brokers. So how can your firm avoid falling afoul of the act? The trick is realizing that PIPEDA applies not only to personal information collected on paper or electronically, but from all sources, including various correspondence, pictures, sound recordings and videotape. "Businesses need to focus not just on info they collect from individuals, but on everything they learn about those about individuals," says Robert Parker, Toronto-based national privacy partner with Deloitte and Touche. The key, according to Parker, is to ask yourself the following when collecting personal information: "Is this reasonable to do? Was it reasonably done? Are there less intrusive methods I could use?" That, he says, is a good start to covering the bases."

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