Canada - New privacy legislation in force in Alberta as of December 17, 2014
On December 17, 2014, the amendments to the provincial Personal Information Protection Act in Alberta (“PIPA”) came into force.
The Government of Alberta was required to amend PIPA when the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the legislation in its entirety on the basis that it was unconstitutional. In that decision (2013 SCC 62), the legislation was held to have infringed a labour union’s freedom of expression by effectively restricting its ability to videotape and photograph individuals crossing a picket line without their prior consent. The amendments allow labour unions to engage in reasonable collection, use or disclosure personal information without an individual’s consent in the context of a labour dispute.
Alberta is one of three provinces, along with British Columbia and Quebec, with generally applicable legislation deemed to be “substantially similar” to the federal privacy legislation (“PIPEDA”). In these provinces, the provincial legislation applies instead of PIPEDA. In its decision, the Supreme Court of Canada distinguished the Alberta PIPA from PIPEDA, considering the federal statute to be narrower in scope in its application to activities undertaken for commercial purposes.
The full text of the bill containing the amendments to PIPA is available at the following link: http://www.assembly.ab.ca/net/index.aspx?p=bills_status&selectbill=003&legl=28&session=3
For more information, please contact Theo Ling, Arlan Gates or Eva Warden.