The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the transition to a more digital workplace. Now, it is more convenient than ever before to store and process data, including personal information. With this transition comes a good opportunity to revisit an issue that all Canadian business owners should keep in mind: data privacy. This is part two of a three-part series.

In part one, we explored a bit about PIPEDA, personal information, and why knowledge of the foregoing is important for businesses. Today, I’ll introduce something called a “privacy policy” which is a generally accessible document outlining how the business collects, uses, and discloses their customers’ personal information. The importance of this document cannot be overstated. PIPEDA requires businesses make this information freely available to individuals whose personal information may be collected, used, or disclosed. Failing to do so may result in enforcement procedures taken by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

When drafting a privacy policy, company leaders must first ask themselves what the business does, the type of personal information it collects, and the purposes behind such collection. Additional information that most privacy policies contain include why a business might use or disclose this information. Similarly, when the mandate of a business grows to be more expansive, there is a need to update the privacy policy to accurately reflect what personal information the business is collecting and why. The privacy policy will also identify the company’s designated privacy official and provide adequate contact information.

Although it may seem daunting to take the first step in drafting a privacy policy, we at Ross Rumbell are here to walk you through the process. We have a robust understanding of the legal intricacies and what it takes to stay on the right side of the law. If you would like to connect with our team, please contact us by email or telephone.

Brian Wong is an associate lawyer with a focus on private equity, lending, IP/IT, and privacy law. Prior to joining Ross Rumbell, Brian worked at large Canadian law firms supporting a variety of corporate/commercial practice areas. He also has a background in life sciences and has worked at an international biotechnology company. In his spare time, Brian enjoys learning Mandarin, travelling, and playing golf.