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.
Find general guidance to help employers balance their "need to know" with their employees' right to privacy.
Find information to help HR professionals treat employee information properly from a privacy perspective.
Find tips for protecting employee privacy based on real-life examples from Privacy Act investigations by the OPC.
Read tips for organizations to help prevent risks of personal information on a mobile device being at risk of a data breach.
Find privacy-related tips for businesses that are contemplating a BYOD program.
Find guidelines for businesses on what to consider when determining whether and how to implement a BYOD program.
Read basic information about social networking for both employers and employees.
Learn about the use of social networking sites in the workplace and the privacy implications for both employees and employers.
Learn about the limited application of PIPEDA to employee information in the private sector.
Find information and guidance for private sector organizations and employees on making proper privacy decisions in a possible pandemic situation.
Find guidance to help organizations handle personal information appropriately in the event of an emergency.
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