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.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Organizations in Alberta and British Columbia Receive Exemption from Federal Personal Information Protection Legislation 

As announced on this page last week, the private sector privacy laws of Alberta and British Columbia have been declared by the Federal Cabinet to be substantially similar to PIPEDA. The official announcement was made by Industry Canada today:

Organizations in Alberta and British Columbia Receive Exemption from Federal Personal Information Protection Legislation:

OTTAWA, November 3, 2004 — The Government of Canada today announced that organizations in Alberta and British Columbia that are subject to either province's private sector privacy laws are exempt from the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). This exemption applies to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information within either province.

PIPEDA will continue to apply to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information related to the operations of a federal work, undertaking or business (e.g. banks, airlines, telecommunications companies) in both provinces, as well as to the cross-border collection, use and release of personal information.

Both Alberta and British Columbia have privacy legislation that is considered substantially similar to PIPEDA. This helps ensure the existence of an effective national standard for privacy protection, which also meets accepted international norms. Clear, consistent rules for the protection of personal information increase consumer and business confidence in online commerce.

PIPEDA came into full effect January 1, 2004. It applies to all personal information collected, used or disclosed by private sector organizations in the course of commercial activity. Its privacy provisions are based on the Canadian Standards Association's Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information (CAN/CSA-Q830-96). The Act's key provisions state:

  • organizations are required to seek the consent of individuals prior to collecting, using or disclosing their personal information;
  • organizations must protect personal information with security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information; and
  • individuals may access personal information about themselves held by an organization and have it corrected, if necessary.

For more information on PIPEDA, please visit

For more information on compliance, organizations should refer to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner's online guide at

For more information, please contact:
Media Relations
Industry Canada
(613) 943-2502

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