Friday, September 08, 2006

Definition of personal information muddies privacy law

The London Free Press, which is also the source of David Canton's great technology law column, is also running an interesting commentary on an issue that didn't make it into the Privacy Commissioner's proposed topics for discussion in connection with the PIPEDA review:

London Free Press - Business - Definition of personal information muddies privacy law:

... Several OPC decisions on when photos and video recordings become personal information have been inconsistent, so some businesses are unsure whether some aspects of their work put them at risk.

This leads to a tangential question: Do we need a separate definition for 'business information'?

Intuitively, one might think a business e-mail address is a logical extension of a business employee's name, title, address and phone number -- information exempt from PIPEDA, according to the definition of personal information. The assistant commissioner, however, in decision No. 297, declared it 'personal information' because it was not included in the list of business information under this definition....

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