Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Manitoba opposition politicians introduce security breach notification bill

The opposition Conservatives in Manitoba have introduced a bill in the provincial legislature to be substantially similar to PIPEDA and to be the first general application statute to provide for security breach notification. The CBC article on the bill (CBC Manitoba - Proposed law forces companies to report information leaks) quotes Brian Bowman, Manitoba's leading privacy lawyer, who himself has been a victim of identity theft.

The relevant sections of Bill 207 read:

The Personal Information Protection and Identity Theft Prevention Act:

"Notice if control of information lost

34(2) An organization must, as soon as reasonably practicable and in the prescribed manner, notify an individual if personal information about the individual that is in its custody or under its control is stolen, lost or accessed in an unauthorized manner.

Exception re law enforcement agency investigation

34(3) The requirement to notify an individual under subsection (2) does not apply where

(a) the organization is instructed to refrain from doing so by a law enforcement agency that is investigating the theft, loss or unauthorized accessing of the personal information; or

(b) the organization is satisfied that it is not reasonably possible for the personal information to be used unlawfully.

Right of action

34(4) An individual may commence an action in a court of competent jurisdiction against an organization for damages arising from its failure to

(a) protect personal information that is in its custody or under its control; or

(b) provide an individual notice under subsection (2), if it was not reasonable for the organization to have been satisfied that the personal information that was stolen, lost or accessed in an unauthorized manner would not be used unlawfully.

Other rights not affected

34(5) The right of action under this section is in addition to any other right of action or remedy available at law. But where the court deems it just, damages awarded in an action under this section may be taken into account in assessing damages in any other proceeding arising out of the failure of the organization to protect personal information in its custody or under its control.

Retention of information

35 Notwithstanding that a consent has been withdrawn or varied under section 9, an organization may for legal or business purposes retain personal information as long as is reasonable."

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