Legal practitioners may be interested in reviewing a new release by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) entitled A Privacy Handbook for Lawyers.  The Handbook provides lawyers with a guide as to how PIPEDA applies to the practice of law in the private sector.  

Of particular note, the Handbook addresses the privacy implications that may arise in the course of civil litigation.  The Handbook contains a summary of the application of PIPEDA in the civil litigation context, including the application of express and implied consent, relevant exceptions to consent, credit checks, surveillance and private investigations.   There is also a specific overview of privacy-related issues in the conduct of litigation, including a discussion about the discovery process, the deemed undertaking rule, and the concepts of relevance and proportionality.

The Handbook also covers a wide range of privacy-related concerns relevant to the legal community, including retention and access to information. Additional details on these topics are available on AccessPrivacy's Private Sector Source.

Legislative and Regulatory Update

There have been a number of recent minor privacy-related statutory and regulatory updates across the country, including:

  • The federal Privacy Act was amended to add Shared Services Canada to the Schedule of government institutions governed by the Act.
  • The Regulation to New Brunswick's Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act was amended to specify specific requirements for requests for access to public records.
  • British Columbia's new E-Health Regulation specifies certain "owners of diagnostic facilities" that are subject to requests for information by authorized persons under the E-Health (Personal Health Information Access and Protection of Privacy) Act.

All of the foregoing are included in our complete list of private, public and health-sector legislation on AccessPrivacy's Private Sector Source.