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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, February 25, 2010

Alberta Privacy Commissioner tells retailer not to do routine credit checks of sales staff 

The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta has just ordered Marks' Work Wearhouse to stop carrying out routine credit checks on prospective employees in Investigation Report P2010-IR-001.

From the Commissioner's website:

February 23, 2010

Mark’s Work Wearhouse investigated under the Personal Information Protection Act

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has found that Mark’s Work Wearhouse (MWW) contravened the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) when the organization conducted pre-employment credit checks for its job applicants.

The complainant had applied for a job with MWW as a sales associate. During the complainant’s in-person interview with the organization he signed a declaration of understanding for a credit check. Shortly after the interview he was contacted by MWW and asked to explain his credit rating and how he was resolving his credit issue. The complainant explained to MWW that in the past an error in processing his paper work between the federal government and his bank concerning his student loans had occurred. Due to a lack of financial resources he could not resolve the matter.

The complainant was unsuccessful in obtaining the sales associate position with MWW. MWW advanced that the organization conducted a pre-employment credit check in regard to the complainant as the information provides an assessment of how job applicants will handle financial responsibilities and tasks with their employment duties as a sales associate; and it is an assessment of whether the job applicants have a probable risk of in-store theft or fraud. The investigator found that the personal credit information collected by MWW was not reasonably required to assess the complainant’s ability to perform the duties a sales associate, or to assess whether he might have a tendency towards committing in-store theft or fraud.

MWW agreed to cease the collection of personal credit information of sales associate applicants as part of its hiring process.

Some coverage: Canadian HR Reporter - Article View.

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