Privacy at work

People expect to have some privacy at work, even if they are on their employer's premises and using the employer's equipment. At the same time, employers need certain information about their employees for things like pay and benefits, and they have to be able to ensure that work is being done efficiently and safely.

Employers and employees are often subject to privacy laws. The Privacy Act, for example, applies to employee information in federal government institutions. Canada’s federal private sector privacy law, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) has limited application to employment situations. In terms of employee information, PIPEDA only applies to federally regulated organizations. That would include, for example, banks and telecommunications companies. Several provinces have privacy laws that apply to employee information.

The links on this page provide information about privacy issues that may arise in the workplace.

Privacy in the Workplace

Find general guidance to help employers balance their "need to know" with their employees' right to privacy.

Ten things human resources professionals need to know about privacy

Find information to help HR professionals treat employee information properly from a privacy perspective.

Key privacy protection tips for federal human resources professionals

Find tips for protecting employee privacy based on real-life examples from Privacy Act investigations by the OPC.

10 Workplace Tips for Protecting Personal Information on Mobile Devices

Read tips for organizations to help prevent risks of personal information on a mobile device being at risk of a data breach.

Contemplating a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program?

Find privacy-related tips for businesses that are contemplating a BYOD program.

Is a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Program the Right Choice for Your Organization?

Find guidelines for businesses on what to consider when determining whether and how to implement a BYOD program.

Social Networks Sites in the Workplace: An Introduction

Read basic information about social networking for both employers and employees.

Privacy and Social Networking in the Workplace

Learn about the use of social networking sites in the workplace and the privacy implications for both employees and employers.

Application of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act to Employee Records

Learn about the limited application of PIPEDA to employee information in the private sector.

Privacy during a pandemic

Find information and guidance for private sector organizations and employees on making proper privacy decisions in a possible pandemic situation.

Privacy Emergency Kit

Find guidance to help organizations handle personal information appropriately in the event of an emergency.

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