Employee consent, surveillance on the table in PIPEDA review

Deadline for public input on privacy legislation review is Sept. 7
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 08/13/2006

Should the federal government introduce a special category that would exempt workplace surveillance from privacy protection? Many organizations know they need consent when collecting, storing and using information, but should employee consent be a must if the information is needed to hire, manage or terminate the person?

These will likely be two issues up for discussion in the fall when the first scheduled review of the federal privacy legislation gets under way. The legislation, which came into force in 2001 for federally regulated businesses, now applies to all commercial activity in provinces that don’t have a substantially similar law. Only Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia have privacy legislation that has been deemed to be substantially similar to the federal law. Ontario has a substantially similar law that applies only to the collection, use and disclosure of health information by health information custodians.

Last month federal privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart released an outline of the issues on which she’s seeking public input. The deadline for input is Sept. 7.