March 28, 2020
PIPEDA and Your Business

PIPEDA and Your Business

The most important part of my business
is establishing customer trust. My success depends on
how secure my customers feel. My customers need to know they can
trust me with their personal information. The Office
of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is responsible for protecting
and promoting people’s privacy rights. The Commissioner makes sure
that businesses comply with PIPEDA, the federal private-sector privacy law. PIPEDA establishes the rules for
how businesses handle personal information. Does PIPEDA apply to my business? PIPEDA applies to
most businesses across Canada except in Quebec, BC and Alberta where they have
their own private sector laws. But even in those provinces,
PIPEDA covers federally regulated industries, like transportation,
telecommunications and banking. What do you mean by personal information? Personal information
is more than just a name or address; it can be a person’s age,
ethnicity, medical information, credit card number
or even income level. How can PIPEDA help me? PIPEDA is good for your business
because it gives you the information you need to protect
your customers’ personal information. If people know your business will respect
their privacy, they’ll bring you their business. It’s a win-win situation. I respect our customers’ privacy, what can I do to ensure
I’m covering all the bases? Check out our PIPEDA guide
for businesses and organizations. It explains your responsibilities under the Act. You can find the guide on our website
along with lots of other resources about good privacy practices,
e-learning tools, fact sheets, guidance documents and videos. Sounds a bit complicated, do most
business owners have trouble complying? It’s actually pretty straightforward. PIPEDA clearly outlines ten principles
for protecting personal information. What exactly does accountability mean
for my business? Accountability means that you need
to make sure someone in your organization is responsible for protecting
the personal information you collect and that you give that person the tools
and support to do it right. Be sure to clearly explain why
you’re collecting personal information. What’s involved in getting customer consent? Do your best to make sure
your customers understand how their personal information will be used
and get them to agree to it. Don’t collect more personal information
than you need. Can I use personal information for
any reason that could benefit my customers? Only use personal information
for the reasons you explain to your customer. Don’t keep it any longer than you need it
and be sure to dispose of it securely. Make sure that
personal information is as accurate, complete and up to date as possible. Protect all personal information
and do whatever it takes to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. How can I show my customers
that we take this issue seriously? Tell them about your privacy practices
and policies, put up signs, post information on your website,
write it in a newsletter. What if my customers ask me
about their personal information? They have a right to see it
so be ready. Develop a simple procedure
for responding to requests and get back to them as quickly as possible. Let your customers know
what they can do if they have concerns or further questions about
how you handle their personal information. Visit our website to learn more
about privacy rights and practices that can work for you and your customers. At the Office
of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, we protect and promote privacy rights because good privacy
makes good business sense.

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