Digital Privacy in 2018: What You Should Know
To celebrate International Data Privacy Day, we thought it would be useful to discuss the important facts of digital privacy in Canada, and how it affects your social media and digital marketing strategy. The way you treat your clients’ personal information is crucial. Stay #PrivacyAware and share any of your thoughts with us! We’d love to hear what you think.
The most important information to know when sharing data online through any digital platform, for either personal or business use, are:
- The legal authority to collect your personal/business information
- Where this information is stored
- How platforms and third parties intend to use this digital information it collects
- Who can answer questions you may have about digital privacy
We thought it would help to review some basic principles of PIPEDA and PIPA.
Understand Digital Privacy Obligations Under PIPEDA and BC’s PIPA.
PIPEDA governs the collection, use, and disclosure of information about an identifiable individual. In the private sector for example, video surveillance where people are monitored is subject to privacy laws. Under PIPEDA the information does not need to be recorded to constitute personal information.
For BC, the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) regulates the information and privacy practices of corporations, not-for-profits, trade unions, and other private sector organizations that collect, use, or disclose personal information. PIPA is specific to BC and covers more organizations – such as not for profits and charities – than PIPEDA allows.
If your business deals with a lot of personal information, you should make sure to stay up to date on developments and best practices related to privacy and personal information protection. Visit the Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s Website to keep up to date on issues of personal protection.
If you’re reviewing a customer’s personal information with them, attention should be paid to your surroundings – especially if other customers are in earshot. You never know who may be listening or what they’ll do with that information. It is important to be cautious with this!
What You Can Do After a Breach of Privacy
The importance of data privacy is clear in this day and age, and the presence of a Privacy Commissioner’s Office is useful in many circumstances. Whether you are looking to request access to information, file a complaint on behalf of yourself or your business, or even report a privacy breach, the Commissioner’s Office has the resources you need.
If you believe you or your business’ privacy has been breached, there are steps you can take to have this breach remediated. The Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner’s website contains the forms (and sample letters) for individuals and businesses to file a breach of privacy. The Privacy Commissioner’s Office can guide you to the correct forms and letters here.
Web and Email Hosting Privacy in Canada
Canada and the European Union are far ahead of the United States when it comes to privacy laws, personal identification protection, and oversight of privacy practices. While the EU and Canada are focused on individual autonomy through protecting personal information, the United States has gradually moved towards guaranteeing security of the majority over the privacy rights of an individual. In addition to the federal laws regulating privacy in Canada, British Columbia has provincial laws that are similar to PIPEDA. So what does this mean for businesses in Canada?
The enactment of PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) in Canada established the basic rules for governing the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information. This applies to personal information as well as service providers, like us. The legislation requires that organizations obtain informed consent for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information; that these activities be conducted in a reasonable and lawful manner; and that the protection of personal identity be clearly upheld as an individual right.
Because of Canada’s strict privacy laws, more and more businesses are switching to Canadian web hosting. Organizations are looking for service providers that will offer adequate controls and safeguards when hosting data belonging to their customers. Canadian web and email hosting helps you achieve compliance.