Commissioner Welcomes Substantially Similar Finding

October 26, 2004

Commissioner Frank Work today welcomed news that the Governor in Council found that Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) is substantially similar to the Federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

The substantially similar finding means the provincial law rather than the federal law governs the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by private sector organizations in Alberta. Personal information in the custody or control of private sector organizations as it relates to commercial transactions or activities will be subject to the Act. Personal employee information is also covered by the PIPA.

“This is good news. It gives businesses in Alberta some certainty as to which law governs,” says the Commissioner. “The finding enables my Office to make arrangements with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to coordinate our efforts so that we do not have two Commissioners knocking on the same door, with respect to the same issue,” adds the Commissioner.

The PIPA allows the Commissioner to review the decisions of private sector organizations to deny an individual access to their own personal information, or to refuse a request for correction to their own personal information. Individuals may also make a complaint to the Commissioner if they believe their personal information has been collected, used or disclosed without proper authority or without their consent.