Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act

Definition & Meaning:

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is a Canadian law that sets out the rules for how businesses must handle personal information in the course of commercial activities.

PIPEDA’s main aim is to protect personal information and ensure privacy rights concerning the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information in the digital age.

This law applies to private-sector organizations across Canada, except in provinces that have their privacy laws, which are deemed substantially similar to PIPEDA.

Under PIPEDA, personal information includes any factual or subjective information, recorded or not, about an identifiable individual.

This can range from name, age, ID numbers, income, ethnic origin, or blood type to opinions, evaluations, comments, social status, or disciplinary actions.

When you interact with businesses, whether shopping online, opening a bank account, or even just browsing a website, the way these entities collect, use, and disclose your information is governed by PIPEDA.

Businesses are required to obtain your consent when they collect, use, or disclose your personal information.

They must also provide you access to your information upon request and allow you to challenge its accuracy. PIPEDA ensures you have the right to know why your data is being collected and how it will be used.

One key aspect of PIPEDA is its emphasis on the protection of personal information through adequate security measures against loss, theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use, or modification.

Businesses are encouraged to adopt clear privacy policies and practices, appoint a privacy officer responsible for compliance, and be transparent about their data handling practices.