A look back at PIPEDA (Guest commentary)

What has and hasn’t worked with Canada’s new privacy act
By Jennifer Stoddart
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/16/2006

We now have almost two-and-a-half years’ experience with Canada’s federal private-sector data protection legislation, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), in its fully implemented incarnation, and nearly five-and-a-half years’ experience since the first phase of PIPEDA came into effect.

While I am in general pleased with many aspects of PIPEDA, effective private-sector data protection still has a long road ahead of it. Governments are thirsty for more — and more detailed — personal information about Canadians, and they are increasingly willing to draw on private-sector databases for that information.

In the private sector, there is what some variously call the economic imperative, or globalization, or commercial pressures. Without strong privacy rules, these will drive us towards ever diminishing privacy protection.