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Privacy

"Employer access to employee e-mails in Canada"

Dan Michaluk has written a paper on "Employer access to employee e-mails in Canada" (May 23, 2009). Mr. Michaluk is a lawyer at Hicks Morley in Ontario.

As set out in the introduction, the paper:

  1. identifies the specific interests an employer has in accessing information stored on its computer systems,
  2. identifies the bases for claims by employees that information stored on business computer systems is "private,"
  3. describes the "no expectation of privacy" approach adopted by Canadian labour arbitrators and courts,
  4. identifies cases that might demonstrate this approach is changing, and
  5. discusses what the jurisprudence should mean to employers.

"Privacy Issues in Pre-Employment Screening"

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Jennifer Wiegele at Harris & Company prepared a paper on, "Privacy Issues in Pre-Employment Screening" for the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC's May 2009 Employment Law Conference - 2009.

Federal privacy commissioner issues fact sheet on "Privacy and Social Networking in the Workplace"

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, which oversees the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and the Privacy Act, has issued a fact sheet on "Privacy and Social Networking in the Workplace" The fact sheet contains guidance on what information should be included in a workplace policy that addresses this issue.

"Ontario Employers Covered by New Child Pornography Reporting Law"

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

Davis LLP has published a briefing note - "Ontario Employers Covered by New Child Pornography Reporting Law  on Bill 37" - which will amend the Child and Family Services Act (Ontario) and will "impose a positive obligation on any person in Ontario,
including employers and employees, to report child pornography".

Federal Privacy Commissioner issues guidelines for processing personal data outside Canada

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

This week the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) issued "Guidelines for Processing Personal Data Across Borders".

The guidelines explain how the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) applies to transfers of personal information to a third party, including a third party operating outside of Canada, for processing.

These guidelines are important because, as the OPC notes:

PIPEDA does not prohibit organizations in Canada from transferring personal information to an organization in another jurisdiction for processing. However, under PIPEDA, organizations are held accountable for the protection of personal information transfers under each individual outsourcing arrangement.

BC Supreme Court issues first judicial review of PIPA

Topics: - Judicial Review - Privacy
Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Given that the BC Privacy Commissioner has issued only a very limited number of decisions under the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) in the more than four years since it has come into effect, there was a measure of anticipation regarding the decision in Sochowski v. British Columbia (Information and Privacy Commissioner), 2008 BCSC 1390, which was the BC Supreme Court's first judicial review of one of these decisions.

The underlying privacy issue centered on a complaint filed by a long serving employee of Finning Canada about its new policy that required employees to provide their "driver abstracts" and insurance claim histories to the company on an annual basis. (The drivers abstract contains some information contained on a person's drivers license, and some that's not). Finning's position was that the information was necessary for insurance purposes.  read more »

"The Limits of the Application Game - Why Employee Privacy Matters"

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal - Ontario

"The Limits of the Application Game - Why Employee Privacy Matters" (2008) is the title of a paper written by Dan Michaluk,

Mr. Michaluk is a lawyer at Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP in Ontario.

Although, as Mr. Michaluk states, there is an apparent privacy rights "gap" in Ontario employment law, he uses the paper to: describe the various sources of employee privacy rights in five parts:

  1. rights in privacy statutes;
  2. human rights and privacy statutes;
  3. privacy regulation in other statutes;
  4. contractual privacy rights; and
  5. the privacy tort.

His intent in writing the paper is to:

...illustrate that privacy rights are rooted in many sources, that there are risks of newly-developing sources of employee privacy rights and, overall, that employee privacy does matter.