Saturday, October 23, 2004

Alberta and British Columbia privacy laws declared to be substantially similar

The federal cabinet, on October 12, 2004, issued two very important orders, exempting organizations in Alberta and British Columbia from the application of PIPEDA: the provincial private sector privacy laws have been declared to be substantially similar to the federal law. Therefore, PIPEDA does not apply to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by provincially regulated organizations that occurs within Alberta and British Columbia. (Surprise! PIPEDA will apply if you disclose it across provincial borders.)

PC2004-1163 relates to the Personal Information Protection Act (Alberta) and PC2004-1164 relatesto the Personal Information Protection Act (British Columbia). Both orders are long awaited. Neither have been "Gazetted", but they are effective on the date of registration, which was October 12, 2004.

(A big thanks to Michael R. Whitt, of Borden Ladner Gervais in Calgary, for sending me copies of the exemption orders ... and for his contribution to the privacy roundtable that Eloise Gratton and I moderated at the Canadian IT Law Association annual conference in Calgary this past week.)

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