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Collecting personal information

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) sets out the rules businesses subject to the Act must follow when collecting personal information. Businesses must clearly identify the reasons for collecting personal information before or at the time of collection, and how it will be used. Explaining why personal information is needed is essential to obtaining valid consent from the individuals, which is another requirement of PIPEDA.

PIPEDA also specifies that businesses must limit their collection to what is necessary for the identified purposes. So before collecting any personal information, businesses should carefully consider what they are collecting, why, how and what they will use it for, in order to ensure they have the right privacy practices in place.

Explore the links on this page to learn more about requirements and best practices for collecting personal information in accordance with PIPEDA.


Find information and guidance about consent under PIPEDA.

Best Practices for the use of Social Insurance Numbers in the private sector

Find information for businesses about how PIPEDA applies to the collection, use and disclosure the SIN.

Collection of Driver’s Licence Numbers Under Private Sector Privacy Legislation

Learn about PIPEDA and find information to help businesses understand and comply with the law.

Recording of Customer Telephone Calls

Learn how to comply with PIPEDA when recording telephone calls with customers.

Collecting from kids? Ten tips for services aimed at children and youth

Find advice for businesses collecting, using and disclosing the personal information of children and youth.

Guidelines for Overt Video Surveillance in the Private Sector

Find information and guidance for businesses about using overt video surveillance in a way that respects privacy law.

Guidance on Covert Video Surveillance in the Private Sector

Learn about privacy obligations and responsibilities for private sector organizations engaging in covert video surveillance.

Identification and authentication

Access guidance for businesses about how to identify and authenticate of customers in a way that complies with PIPEDA.

Ten tips for a better online privacy policy and improved privacy practice transparency

Find information for businesses to help develop better privacy policies.

Electronic and digital payments and privacy

Learn about how electronic and digital payments work and associated privacy issues, and find related tips for protecting personal information.

Financial transaction reporting

Access guidance for businesses about reporting financial transactions to combat crime and terrorism, while respecting privacy obligations under PIPEDA.

Protecting personal information: Cannabis transactions

Learn about privacy obligations and responsibilities for private sector organizations selling cannabis.

Guidance for federal political parties on protecting personal information

Find information on how political parties can respect privacy.

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