When you do business with a company,
you do more than simply exchange money
for a product or service: Unless you pay in
cash, you also leave behind a trail of personal
information about yourself. Your name,
address, credit card number and spending
habits are all information of great value
to somebody, whether that’s a legitimate
marketer or an identity thief.
Many organizations need to collect personal
information about you for legitimate
But personal information has become an
increasingly hot commodity for many private
sector organizations that use it in order to try
to sell us more of their services and products.
Personal Information Protection and
Electronic Documents Act
the ground rules for handling of personal
information in course of commercial
activities. It applies equally to small and big
businesses, whether they operate out of an
actual building or only online.
W h e r e P I P E D A A p p l i e s
PIPEDA applies to private enterprises
across Canada, except in provinces that
have adopted substantially similar privacy
legislation, namely Québec, British
Columbia, and Alberta.
Ontario, New Brunswick and
Newfoundland and Labrador fall into this
category with respect to personal health
information held by health information
custodians under health sector privacy laws
in those provinces.
However, even in those provinces with
substantially similar legislation, and
elsewhere in Canada, PIPEDA continues
to apply to personal information collected,
used or disclosed by all federally regulated
organizations such as radio and television
stations, airports and airlines, railways and
PIPEDA also applies to all personal data that
flows across provincial or national borders,
in the course of commercial transactions
involving organizations subject to the Act or
to substantially similar legislation.
Overview of Canada’s federal
private sector privacy law