Privacy Commissioners Sign New MOU on Private Sector Privacy

January 5, 2012

The Information and Privacy Commissioners of British Columbia and Alberta and the Federal Privacy Commissioner have renewed their commitment to collaborate in an effort to better protect Canadians’ personal information.

The three Commissioners, who have responsibility for enforcing private sector privacy laws in their jurisdiction, have signed a revised Memorandum of Understanding outlining how they will continue to work together on private sector privacy issues. The revised MOU also provides greater clarity on how they will share information in undertaking their duties.

“Privacy rights don’t end at our respective borders. That’s why we’ve renewed our commitment to work together on privacy initiatives, to better protect Canadians from coast to coast,” said Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart.

“I’m proud of the strong, collaborative relationship we’ve built over the years. And I’m looking forward to the work ahead, as we begin to address some of the more current challenges to personal privacy, including the development and use of new technologies,” said B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham.

“Private sector organizations need to know that no matter where they’re operating, their duties and responsibilities are clear,” said A/Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner Marylin Mun. “Our offices will continue to cooperate in this area, to provide as seamless a system of controls and protections as possible.”

Since the original MOU was signed in 2008, the Commissioners of British Columbia, Alberta and Canada have worked together to provide the public with comprehensive privacy protection as well as practical advice, including:

  • An interactive self-assessment tool to help organizations gauge how well they are protecting personal information
  • Advice to retailers about whether it’s appropriate to collect driver’s licence numbers from their customers

The Commissioners have also undertaken joint investigations involving the privacy rights of Canadians across jurisdictions.