“The new Canadian data privacy regulations: everything you need to know”

Who needs PIPEDA compliant? The easy answer is any organization that collects, uses or discloses the personal information of Canadian citizens. But what does that really mean?

PIPEDA is the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. It’s a federal law that sets out rules for how organizations can collect, use and disclose the personal information of Canadians.

Organizations that are subject to PIPEDA must take steps to protect the personal information they collect, use or disclose. They must also be transparent about their privacy practices.

PIPEDA applies to any organization with customers in Canada, regardless of where the organization is located. So, even if an organization is based outside of Canada, if it has customers in Canada, it must comply with PIPEDA.

There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, organizations that are subject to provincial privacy laws instead of PIPEDA include banks, credit unions and trust companies (which are regulated by provincial legislation), as well as organizations that operate wholly within one province and don’t interact with customers in other provinces (unless they do so electronically).

In order to be PIPEDA compliant, businesses need to adhere to certain standards when it comes to the handling of personal information. These standards include ensuring that personal information is collected, used, and disclosed in a manner that is consistent with the principles of privacy by design and data minimization. Furthermore, businesses need to take steps to protect the personal information they collect from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. Finally, businesses need to provide individuals with access to their personal information upon request and allow them to make corrections where necessary.

Who needs PIPEDA compliance?

The short answer is that if your business collects, uses or discloses personal information in the course of commercial activities, then you need to be compliant with PIPEDA. This applies regardless of whether your business is based in Canada or not.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to PIPEDA compliance. First, you need to have a clear and concise privacy policy that outlines how you collect, use and disclose personal information. This policy must be easily accessible to customers and employees alike.

Second, you need to take steps to ensure that the personal information you collect is accurate and up-to-date. You should also take measures to protect this information from unauthorized access, disclosure or misuse.

Finally, you need to be open and transparent with customers about your privacy practices. This means ensuring that they are aware of their rights under PIPEDA and providing them with a way to contact you if they have any concerns.

What is PIPEDA compliance?

PIPEDA stands for the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. It is a Canadian federal law that sets out rules for how businesses must handle the personal information of customers and employees. The law applies to any business that collects, uses or discloses personal information in the course of commercial activities, regardless of whether those activities take place in Canada or not.

PIPEDA compliance is important for any business that handles personal information, as it ensures that this information is protected and used in a way that is consistent with Canadians’ privacy rights. The law sets out strict requirements for how businesses must collect, use and disclose personal information, as well as giving individuals the right to access their own personal information and to request changes to inaccurate or incomplete data. Businesses that contravene PIPEDA can be subject to fines and other penalties.

Compliance with PIPEDA is not optional – it is required by law. However, many businesses find that complying with the law also makes good business sense, as it builds trust with customers and helps to ensure that they will continue to do business with the company. In addition, complying with PIPEDA can help businesses avoid costly penalties and damages awards if they are found to have contraven

Why is PIPEDA compliance important?

PIPEDA compliance is important for two primary reasons. First, it ensures that organizations protect the privacy of Canadians by handling their personal information responsibly. Second, it provides individuals with a mechanism to hold organizations accountable if they feel their privacy rights have been violated.

Organizations that are PIPEDA-compliant have established policies and procedures to ensure the safeguarding of personal information. They also have mechanisms in place to address complaints and investigate any potential breaches of the Act.

Canadians expect their personal information to be protected when they provide it to organizations. PIPEDA compliance helps to instill confidence in individuals that their rights are being respected. It also helps to build trust between organizations and the public.

Organizations that fail to comply with PIPEDA may face enforcement action from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC). This could include orders to remedy the situation, monetary penalties, or publicity measures such as naming and shaming. The OPC can also take civil action against organizations on behalf of complainants.

PIPEDA compliance is important because it helps protect the privacy of Canadians and provides a way for them to hold organizations accountable if they feel their rights have been violated.

How can you ensure PIPEDA compliance?

1. Get consent from individuals before collecting, using or disclosing their personal information.

2. Limit the amount of personal information you collect to only what is necessary for the purposes you have identified.

3. Protect the personal information you have collected by storing it securely and taking appropriate steps to safeguard it from unauthorized access or disclosure.

4. Be transparent about your privacy policies and practices, and make sure individuals know how to contact you with any questions or concerns.

What are the consequences of not being PIPEDA compliant?

The consequences of not being PIPEDA compliant can be quite severe. If a company is found to be in violation of PIPEDA, they can be fined up to $100,000 per violation. Additionally, the company may be required to change their policies and procedures in order to comply with the law. Lastly, the company may be subject to civil action from any individual who suffers damages as a result of the company’s non-compliance.

Frequently Asked Question

  1. Who needs PIPEDA compliant?

  2. PIPEDA applies to federal works, undertakings or businesses (FWUBs). PIPEDA applies to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information in the course of a commercial activity and across borders. PIPEDA also applies within provinces without substantially similar private sector privacy legislation. [1]

  3. Can EU data be stored in Canada?

  4. Canada’s adequacy status ensures that data processed in accordance with the GDPR can be subsequently transferred from the EU to Canada without requiring additional data protection safeguards (for example, standard contractual rules) or authorization to transfer the data. [2]

  5. What are the two privacy laws in Canada?

  6. This guide offers individuals an overview of the role of our Office and Canada’s two federal privacy laws: the Privacy Act, which applies to the federal public sector, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act ( PIPEDA ). [3]

  7. What is protected information in Canada?

  8. Protected information and assets Applies to information or assets that, if compromised, could reasonably be expected to cause injury to a non-national interestthat is, an individual interest such as a person or an organization. [4]

  9. What types of information are protected by PIPEDA?

  10. Under PIPEDA , personal information includes any factual or subjective information, recorded or not, about an identifiable individual. This includes information in any form, such as: age, name, ID numbers, income, ethnic origin, or blood type; opinions, evaluations, comments, social status, or disciplinary actions; and. [5]

  11. What is Bill C 36 Canada?

  12. An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act and to make related amendments to another Act (hate propaganda, hate crimes and hate speech) [6]

  13. What is the difference between GDPR and PIPEDA?

  14. ‘ The GDPR defines a data processor as a ‘natural or legal PIPEDA does not distinguish between data controllers and data processors. Rather, PIPEDA applies to all organizations which collect, use, or disclose personal information in the course of commercial activities, and to certain employee personal information. [7]

  15. What is sensitive information under PIPEDA?

  16. This includes health and financial data, ethnic and racial origins, political opinions, genetic and biometric data, an individual’s sex life or sexual orientation, and religious/philosophical beliefs. [8]

  17. Is GDPR valid in Canada?

  18. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect on May 25, 2018, creating challengesand opportunitiesfor every organization doing business in the European Union. GDPR may apply to Canadian businesses, since a business doesn’t need to have a physical presence in the European Union to be subject to GDPR. [9]

  19. What data is covered by PIPEDA?

  20. As regards the processing of personal information about employees, PIPEDA only applies to personal information about an employee of, or an applicant for employment with, organisations that collect, use or disclose in connection with the operation of a federal work, undertaking or business (such as banks and telcos). [10]


It’s clear that PIPEDA compliance is not a priority for many companies. But, as we’ve seen time and time again, data breaches can have serious consequences. So, while PIPEDA compliance may not be mandatory, it’s certainly something to consider if you want to avoid the headache of a data breach.

Sources –

  1. https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/privacy-topics/privacy-laws-in-canada/the-personal-information-protection-and-electronic-documents-act-pipeda/r_o_p/02_05_d_26/
  2. https://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/guides/gdpr-eu-rgpd.aspx?lang=eng
  3. https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/about-the-opc/publications/guide_ind/
  4. https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/esc-src/protection-safeguarding/niveaux-levels-eng.html
  5. https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/privacy-topics/privacy-laws-in-canada/the-personal-information-protection-and-electronic-documents-act-pipeda/pipeda_brief/
  6. https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/43-2/bill/C-36/first-reading
  7. https://www.dataguidance.com/sites/default/files/gdpr_v_pipeda.pdf
  8. https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/opc-news/news-and-announcements/2021/an_210813/
  9. https://www.pwc.com/ca/en/services/consulting/privacy/general-data-protection-regulation.html
  10. https://www.linklaters.com/en/insights/data-protected/data-protected—canada

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