The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.

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The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.

For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.

Please note that I am only able to provide legal advice to clients. I am not able to provide free legal advice. Any unsolicited information sent to David Fraser cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

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The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Article: [Australian] Privacy Commission urges employee records review 

The Australian legislation, similar to PIPEDA, does not appear to apply to the employer-employee relationship (NOTE: PIPEDA does apply to employee information for employees of federal works, undertakings and businesses. But employers are not federally regulated, so it does not apply to most employers.) The Commissioner there recently had a few comments about this exclusion:

Computerworld | Privacy Commission urges employee records review: "Privacy Commission urges employee records review
Sandra Rossi, Computerworld

24/02/2004 13:20:35

Federal Privacy Commissioner Malcolm Crompton has released a discussion paper on information privacy and employee records that will have widespread implications for the IT department.

Crompton said the paper, jointly prepared by the Attorney General's department and Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, will raise debate about the need to protect employee records, which are not covered by the current Privacy Act.

Since 21 December 2001, he said, the Office has received 2140 phone enquiries (around 3.4 percent of total calls) about the employee records exemption.

"During that time we have had to decline 45 complaints because of the employee records exemption," Crompton said.

"Employee records often contain sensitive information such as sick leave and wage records and it is important that we get the privacy balance right in this area.

"The Office will examine the paper closely and will make a submission on the discussion paper; I strongly encourage everybody with an interest in this area to do the same."

The Government announced in November 2000, before the private sector amendments to the Privacy Act were finally passed by Parliament, that it would review existing Commonwealth, State and Territory Laws to consider the extent of the privacy protection for employee records and whether there was a need for further measures.

At that time the government expressed the view that while employee records are deserving of privacy protection, such protection is more properly a matter for workplace relations legislation.

Submissions close on April 16 and any changes to the legislation will have implications for business processes and how records are maintained by the IT department. - with Staff Writers


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