Federal, British Columbia and Alberta Privacy Commissioners Outline Building Blocks for Effective Privacy Management

April 17, 2012

The Federal, British Columbia and Alberta Privacy Commissioners have today released Getting Accountability Right with a Privacy Management Program; a new guidance document for private sector organizations.

The guidelines provide useful building blocks for organizations to consider when they build their privacy management programs. In this time of ubiquitous data collection, management and protection of that data is becoming even more important.

“Accountability is the first fair information principle in the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). This reflects its importance—it is the bedrock of the Act.” says Jennifer Stoddart, Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

In order to successfully manage and protect personal information, minimum requirements must be met that not only comply with privacy laws in Canada, but demonstrate that a business or organization is taking protection of personal information seriously.

“Given what Commissioners have seen in our investigations of technical breaches of privacy laws, there is a need to outline the basics of privacy management to Canadian organizations. These guidelines will help businesses take data protection from policy to practice” explains British Columbia Information and Privacy Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham.

Jill Clayton, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, adds “It is important to issue joint guidelines to give Canadian businesses some assurance that there is consistency in the expectations of Commissioners. There are very important principles for business to follow, such as fostering a culture of privacy protection through the development of sound policies leading to a privacy management program.”

Getting Accountability Right with a Privacy Management Program offers organizations the necessary insight and guidance to develop a privacy management program that respects accountability requirements of Canadian privacy laws. The guideline is available via the Commissioners’ websites: www.priv.gc.ca; www.oipc.ab.ca; and www.oipc.bc.ca.