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.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

PIPED Act Case Summary #269: Employer hires private investigator to conduct video surveillance on employee - April 23, 2004 

Finally, a new batch of findings from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Of particular interest is finding #269, which considers an employer's use of video surveillance by a private investigator. I'll do a fuller analysis later, the "Further Considerations" at the end of the finding is instructive:

PIPED Act Case Summary #269: Employer hires private investigator to conduct video surveillance on employee - April 23, 2004:

"Further Considerations

Notwithstanding the findings, the Assistant Commissioner stressed that while she was satisfied that the company only resorted to video surveillance after having taken numerous measures to obtain the required information with the complainant's knowledge and consent, she recommended that the company formalize the steps it took by developing policy and practices that are privacy conscious.

Such a policy, she suggested, should take into account the following:

  • video surveillance is a last resort and should only be contemplated if all other avenues of collecting personal information have been exhausted;
  • the decision to undertake video surveillance should be made at a very senior level of the organization; and
  • the private investigator should be instructed to collect personal information in accordance with the Act, and should be especially mindful of Principle 4.4.

The Assistant Commissioner asked the company to report back to her within 120 days regarding this policy."

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