Provincial legislation deemed substantially similar to PIPEDA

March 2013

Several provincial statutes have also been deemed substantially similar to PIPEDA. Under paragraph 26(2)(b) of PIPEDA, the Governor in Council can exempt an organization, a class of organizations, an activity or a class of activities from the application of PIPEDA with respect to the collection, use or disclosure of personal information that occurs within a province that has passed legislation deemed to be substantially similar to the PIPEDA.

On August 3, 2002, Industry Canada published the Process for the Determination of "Substantially Similar" Provincial Legislation by the Governor in Council in the Canada Gazette on August 3, 2002, which outlines the policy and criteria used to determine whether provincial legislation will be considered as substantially similar. Under the policy, laws that are substantially similar: provide privacy protection that is consistent with and equivalent to that found under PIPEDA; incorporate the ten principles in Schedule 1 of PIPEDA; provide for an independent and effective oversight and redress mechanism with powers to investigate; and restrict the collection, use and disclosure of personal information to purposes that are appropriate or legitimate.

Organizations that are subject to provincial legislation deemed substantially similar are exempt from PIPEDA with respect to the collection, use or disclosure of personal information occurring within the respective province. Accordingly, PIPEDA continues to apply to the collection, use or disclosure of personal information in connection with the operations of a federal work, undertaking or business in the respective province, as well as to the collection, use or disclosure of personal information outside the province.

Provincial laws that have been deemed substantially similar are as follows:

British Columbia’s Personal Information Protection Act.

Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act (printable version from the Alberta Queen’s Printer Web site.)

Québec’s An Act Respecting the Protection of Personal Information in the Private Sector.

Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act, with respect to health information custodians.

New Brunswick's Personal Health Information Privacy and Access Act, with respect to personal health information custodians.

Newfoundland and Labrador's Personal Health Information Act, with respect to health information custodians.

Memorandum of Understanding between the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia, with respect to Co-operation and Collaboration in Private Sector Privacy Policy, Enforcement, and Public Education.
November 2011

Orders Exempting Substantially Similar Provincial Legislation

Fact Sheet

Letters sent by the Commissioner

Reports

Reference

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