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Report on PIPEDA issued by "Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics"

Topics: - PIPEDA - Privacy
Jurisdiction: - Alberta - Canada/Federal - Quebec

The federal Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics has issued its report/recommendations on PIPEDA for the statutory review process.

The summary of the report provides, in part:

This report does not advocate dramatic changes to PIPEDA at this time. Given that the full implementation of the Act did not come about until January 2004 (see Overview of the Act, below), the Committee is cognizant of the fact that not every aspect of its implementation has yet been fully realized. Thus, even though we heard arguments on numerous issues, we have addressed only those where we decided that comments are warranted at this time.  read more »

"Walking the Tightrope – Recent Developments in Employee Surveillance"

A lawyer at Hicks Morley LLP has prepared a paper entitled, "Walking the Tightrope – Recent Developments in Employee Surveillance"(April 20, 2007).

The paper addresses long discussed employee surveillance legal issues concerning video surveillance and computer and email use, as well as new developments in "productivity surveillance" with reference to Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and keystroke monitoring technology.

Criminal record check for new employees found to be reasonable given nature of retail sector

Jurisdiction: - Alberta
Sector: - Retail Trade

Union of Calgary Co-Operative Employees v. Calgary Co-operative Assn. Ltd. [2006] A.G.A.A. No. 17 (QL)

BC Privacy Commissioner Issues Two Decisions that Address "Employee Personal Information"

Topics: - Privacy
Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Film & TV

The BC Privacy Commissioner recently issued two decisions which address "employee personal information", as well as some other issues of interest under the BC Personal Information Protection Act ("PIPA").

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation decision

In the Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (Order P06-04) decision, the Complainant worked in the film industry and complained to the BC Privacy Commissioner about the following practices by Twentieth Century Fox and a company it had incorporated to produce the Fantastic Four film (together, "Fox"):

  • Fox's requirement that applicants for its film crew provide information to prove residency in BC during the year immediately before filming;
  • Fox's refusal to provide a copy of its written privacy policy; and 
  • Fox's decision to store the residency information it collects at its head office in Los Angeles.

Collection, Use and Disclosure of Residency Information
 read more »

"Video Surveillance and the Employment Relationship"

British Columbia labour arbitrator Robert B. Blasina prepared a paper entitled, "Video Surveillance and the Employment Relationship" for the Personal Information Protection Act Conference 2006 held in Calgary on April 26-27, 2006.

The paper addresses decisions of labour arbitrators and privacy commissioners in BC, Alberta and the federal sector.

BC Privacy Commissioner releases FAQ on PIPA and the Hiring Processs

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

On April 10, 2006, the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia published an FAQ on "PIPA and the Hiring Process".

BC's PIPA, or Personal Information Protection Act, came into effect on January 1, 2004.

It applies to provincial "organizations", which includes: 1) corporations; 2) partnerships; 3) individuals involved in a commercial activity; 4) associations that are not incorporated; 5) trade unions; 6) non-profit organizations (such as a charity, club, religious organization or amateur sport association); and 7) trusts (except for a private trust for the benefit of friends or family of the individual who sets up the private trust).

The FAQ is a valuable resource for employers in that it answers questions like:  read more »

"Privacy Laws and Virtue Testing in the Workplace"

Jurisdiction: - Saskatchewan

R. Gary Dickson, Q.C. and Sandra Barreth, both of the Office of the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner, have written a paper entitled, "Privacy Laws and Virtue Testing in the Workplace".

The paper was prepared for The Canadian Bar Association (Saskatchewan Branch) Mid-Winter Meeting held on February 3, 2006 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

The paper provides a very useful overview of the privacy legislation in place in Saskatchewan, and also covers the following topics:  read more »

Dealing with "personal information" in the course of a "business transaction"

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The BC Personal Information Protection Act ("PIPA") has provisions that address how "personal information" can be dealt with during the course of a "business transaction". Among other things, during the due diligence phase, the vendor may disclose its employees' personal information to the purchaser, without obtaining the consent of the employees, providing:

(1) the vendor and purchaser have entered into a confidentiality agreement in relation to the personal information; and

(2) the personal information is necessary for the parties to determine if they want to proceed.

There are additional employee privacy provisions in PIPA that must be complied with if the deal completes/does not complete.