I spoke with CJOB|680’s Richard Cloutier this morning regarding the Annual Report released today by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, which focuses on online reputation and business accountability in the digital age. Please listen to the 2 part interview part 1 and part 2 in which we discuss (among other things) what folks like yours truly are doing to help families to combat cyber-bullying.
Privacy Commissioner’s Annual Report, online reputation & cyber-bullying discussed with CJOB (Audio)June 6, 2013
Has your organization received a privacy complaint from one of your customers or employees? Privacy complaints are occurring more frequently these days because of new privacy laws and increasing privacy compliance expectations from customers and employees. In this brief video, I chat about how your organization can best respond to privacy complaints. Hope it helps.
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has called for legislation empowering her to impose substantial fines against major corporations that fail to adequately protect Canadians’ personal information from preventable breaches.
“I am deeply troubled by the large number of major breaches we are seeing, including serious incidents in recent weeks that have affected hundreds of thousands of Canadians,’’ Jennifer Stoddart said in a speech today at the Canada 3.0 forum in Stratford, Ont. “It seems to me that it’s time to begin imposing fines – significant, attention-getting fines – on companies when poor privacy and security practices lead to breaches.” To learn more, read the complete news release.
Canada’s Privacy Commissioner has just released her latest e-newletter, Privacy Perspectives. Today’s installment includes:
B.C.’s Privacy Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has just released Privacy Guidelines for Landlords and Tenants.
In B.C., landlords and property managers acting on their behalf must comply with B.C.’s Personal Information Protection Act (“B.C.’s PIPA”). The guidelines are intended to assist landlords and property managers in discharging their duties under B.C.’s Residential Tenancy Act in a manner that respects the privacy of tenants and promotes transparency in the operation of landlord and tenant relationships.
Despite the B.C. focus, landlords and property managers in other jurisdictions would be well-served by reading the guidelines – especially given that B.C.’s PIPA is “substantially similar” to PIPEDA.
The recent headlines over the Veteran Affairs Canada privacy breach should serve as a useful reminder to all organizations – public and private sector – of the necessity to implement internal policies and procedures for the management of personal information. Much attention is paid these days by the media to privacy breaches that involve external parties, such as hackers, who foil the security safeguards of organizations. However, in my experience the bigger threat to privacy if often from within an organization.
In this recent case involving Veteran Affairs, a veteran had filed a complaint with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (“OPC”) alleging that Veterans Affairs had violated the Privacy Act by including excessively detailed and sensitive medical information in briefing notes to the Minister of Veterans Affairs. The complainant also alleged that Veteran Affairs had transferred his medical file to a hospital administered by Veterans Affairs without his consent.
The OPC has issued the following formal recommendations to Veterans Affairs, but they should also serve as useful recommendations to other organizations:
- Revise existing information-management practices and policies to ensure that personal information is shared within the department on a need-to-know basis only. Personal information, including but not limited to sensitive medical information, should not be shared with programs that have no operational requirements for access to such information.
- Provide training for employees about appropriate personal information-handling practices.
- Review procedures to ensure that consent is obtained prior to personal information being transferred to veterans’ hospitals.”
Canada’s Privacy Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, released her 2009 – 2010 Annual Report to Parliament on the Privacy Act today. In her Annual Report, Stoddart says that “[t]he federal government’s use of handheld communications devices and its practices for disposing of unneeded paper documents and surplus computers could expose the personal information of Canadians to unauthorized disclosure”.
Key lessons for the private sector from today’s Annual Report include, among other things, (1) a reminder of the need to assess the threats/risks inherent in wireless communications and to fill any gaps in policies and/or practices related to smart phones, Wi-Fi networks and data stored on mobile devices and (2) ensuring that policies and procedures are in place for paper shredding and the disposal of surplus computer equipment.
Read the full Annual Report here>>.
Earlier today, Canada’s Privacy Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, submitted to Parliament the OPC’s Annual Report on PIPEDA for the period from January 1 to December 31, 2009.
As the Commissioner notes, “the dominant theme of [the OPC's] work in 2009 was the protection of privacy in an increasingly online, borderless world. A case in point was the investigation that resulted in more public attention than any other in [the OPC's] history: Facebook.” The Commissioner notes two key issues, namely, Data without borders and Risks remaining in the wake of mortgage broker breaches.