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April 05, 2004

Know Your Rights

Have you ever thought about the information about you that is "out there"? Names. Birthdate. Home address. SIN. PHN. Mother's maiden name. Bank accounts.

More importantly, have you ever thought about why someone might need to collect this information? And what they might use this information for? It might surprise you to know that many companies, including your own employer, collect information that they have absolutely no use for and often do not have consent to collect in the first place.

Effective, January 1, 2004, the new Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) applies to every organization doing business in British Columbia – no matter how big or small. That also means anyone with a web site who collects any information for any reason whatsoever whether using a submit form, e-mail, or receiving information by mail, fax or telephone must implement and publicly display a Privacy Policy.

The purpose of this Act is to govern the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by organizations in a manner that recognizes both the right of individuals to protect their personal information and the need of organizations to collect, use or disclose personal information for purposes that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances.

I attended a privacy law seminar today that got me thinking from both a personal and a business perspective. The Act is in place to protect personal information and everyone should know their rights and/or obligations to comply. Had I not been required to attend for my employer, I may not have found out about my rights as an individual.

For more information, visit Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Posted by penny at 11:28 PM in Social Activism | Permalink

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