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Canada Privacy Law

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Canadian privacy law is concerned with the protection and preservation of the privacy rights of its citizens.

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Contents

Overview

The privacy laws of Canada follow a co-regulatory approach.  This means the industry develops and enforces the privacy laws, but another privacy agency oversees the enforcement of these laws.

Information Privacy Principles

Canada's privacy laws adopt the fair information practices principles set by the Canadian Standards Association's CSA's Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information.[1] These principles are based on those developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data.[2]

The CSA information privacy principles include:

  • Principle 1: Accountability
  • Principle 2: Identifying Purposes
  • Principle 3: Consent
  • Principle 4: Limiting Collection
  • Principle 5: Limiting Use, Disclosure, and Retention
  • Principle 6: Accuracy
  • Principle 7: Safeguards
  • Principle 8: Openness
  • Principle 9: Individual Access
  • Principle 10: Challenging Compliance

Canada[3]

  • Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms, Article 8[4]

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not guarantee a right to privacy, however, it does recognize an individual's right to a reasonable expectation of privacy with the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.

Canada has established two privacy laws that protect its citizens as a whole.  Otherwise, each province and territory has its own privacy legislation that governs the collection, use and disclosure of personal information held by the private sector and government agencies.  Oversight of these laws are provided by either a commissioner or ombudsman who is authorized to receive and investigate complaints.

  • Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)[5]

Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) regulates how private sector organizations may collect, use or disclose personal information in the course of their commercial activities (includes the retail sector, publishing companies, the service industry, manufacturers and other provincially regulated organizations). Individuals have the right to access and request correction of their personal information these organizations may have collected about them.  This law does not apply to personal information of employees of these organizations.

British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec are the only provinces that have laws in place that are recognized as being substantially similar to PIPEDA. Ontario has a privacy law that protects personal health information which has also been recognized as being substantially similar to PIPEDA.

  • Privacy Act[6]

The Privacy Act limits the collection, use and disclosure of personal information held by the federal government departments and agencies.  Individuals have the right to access and request correction of their personal information held by these federal government organizations.

Oversight: Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada[7]

Alberta

  • The Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA)[8]
  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act[9]
  • Health Information Act[10]

Oversight: Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta[11]

British Columbia

  • The Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA)[12]
  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act[13]
  • E-Health (Personal Health Information Access and Protection of Privacy) Act[14]

Oversight: Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia [15]

Ontario

  • The Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA)[16]
  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act[17]
  • Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act[18]


Oversight: Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario[19]

Quebec

  • An Act Respecting the Protection of Personal Information in the Private Sector[20]
  • Act Respecting Access to Documents Held by Public Bodies and the Protection of Personal Information[21]

Oversight: Commission d'accès à l'information du Québec[22]

Manitoba

  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act[23]
  • Personal Health Information Act (PHIA)[24]

Oversight: Ombudsman Manitoba[25]

New Brunswick

  • Protection of Personal Information Act[26]

Oversight: Office of the Ombudsman[27]

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act[28]

Oversight:  Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner[29]

Northwest Territories

  • Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act[30]

Oversight: Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of the Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia

  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act[31]

Oversight: The Nova Scotia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Review Office[32]

Nunavut

  • Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act[33]

Oversight: Information and Privacy Commissioner of Nunavut[34]

Prince Edward Island

  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act[35]

Oversight: Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Prince Edward Island[36]

Saskatchewan

  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act[37]
  • Local Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act[38]
  • Health Information Protection Act[39]

Oversight: Office of the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner[40]

Yukon

  • Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPP Act)[41]

Oversight: Yukon Ombudsman and Information and Privacy Commissioner[42]

References

  1. <ref>http://www.csa.ca/cm/ca/en/privacy-code/publications/view-privacy-code</ref>
  2. http://www.oecd.org/document/18/0,3343,en_2649_34255_1815186_1_1_1_1,00.html
  3. http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd[347]=x-347-559549
  4. http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/charter/1.html#anchorbo-ga:l_I-gb:s_3
  5. http://laws.justice.gc.ca/PDF/Statute/P/P-8.6.pdf
  6. http://laws.justice.gc.ca/PDF/Statute/P/P-21.pdf
  7. http://www.priv.gc.ca/index_e.cfm
  8. http://pipa.alberta.ca/index.cfm?page=legislation/act/index.html
  9. http://foip.alberta.ca/resources/guidelinespractices/index.cfm
  10. http://www.qp.alberta.ca/574.cfm?page=H05.cfm&leg_type=Acts&isbncln=9780779724758
  11. http://www.oipc.ab.ca
  12. http://www.oipc.bc.ca/images/stories/legislation/PIPA/Personal_Information_Protection_Act.htm
  13. http://www.oipc.bc.ca/images/stories/legislation/FIPPA/Freedom_of_Information_and_Protection_of_Privacy_Act%28Nov2009%29.htm
  14. http://www.oipc.bc.ca/images/stories/legislation/E-HealthLegislation/E-Health%28PersonalHealthInformationAccessandProtectionofPrivacy%29Act.mht
  15. http://www.oipc.bc.ca/
  16. http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_04p03_e.htm
  17. http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90f31_e.htm
  18. http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90m56_e.htm
  19. http://www.ipc.on.ca/
  20. http://www.cai.gouv.qc.ca/index-en.html
  21. http://www2.publicationsduquebec.gouv.qc.ca/dynamicSearch/telecharge.php?type=2&file=/A_2_1/A2_1_A.html
  22. http://www.cai.gouv.qc.ca/index-en.html
  23. http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/f175e.php
  24. http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/p033-5e.php
  25. http://www.ombudsman.mb.ca/index.htm
  26. http://www.gnb.ca/0062/PDF-acts/p-19-1.pdf
  27. http://www.gnb.ca/0073/index-e.ASP
  28. http://assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/statutes/a01-1.htm
  29. http://www.oipc.nl.ca/
  30. http://www.justice.gov.nt.ca/pdf/ACTS/Access_to_Information.pdf
  31. http://www.gov.ns.ca/legislature/legc/statutes/freedom.htm
  32. http://foipop.ns.ca//
  33. http://www.canlii.org/en/nu/laws/stat/snwt-nu-1994-c-20/latest/snwt-nu-1994-c-20.html
  34. http://www.info-privacy.nu.ca/en/home
  35. http://www.gov.pe.ca/law/statutes/pdf/f-15_01.pdf
  36. http://www.assembly.pe.ca/index.php3?number=1013943
  37. http://www.qp.gov.sk.ca/documents/English/Statutes/Statutes/F22-01.pdf
  38. http://www.qp.gov.sk.ca/documents/English/Statutes/Statutes/L27-1.pdf
  39. http://www.qp.gov.sk.ca/documents/english/Statutes/Statutes/H0-021.pdf
  40. http://www.oipc.sk.ca/
  41. http://www.gov.yk.ca/legislation/acts/atipp.pdf
  42. http://www.ombudsman.yk.ca/

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