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Privacy and Security

Privacy Commissioner of Canada creates draft guidance document outlining inappropriate data practices and no-go zones

On September 28, 2017, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada created a draft guidance document providing clarification on inappropriate data practices, specifically focusing on subsection 5(3) of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). This provision is entitled, “Appropriate purposes”, and states that, “an organization may collect, use or disclose personal information only for purposes that a reasonable person would consider are appropriate in the circumstances”.

 

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The legalities of criminal, credit and medical checks in HR

Many employers requesting personal information related to criminal, credit or medical circumstances may consider the requests to be legitimate in creating or maintaining the working relationship. However, they should be careful what they wish for.

 

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Tips for recruiting online

While it may be tempting to view the web as a wild west free-for-all, it is important to remember that the law still very much applies.

 

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Proposed privacy breach of security safeguards under PIPEDA

Organizations that have control over an individual’s personal information are recommended to become familiar with the proposed requirements so that they are prepared to respond to the changes.

 

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Privacy information: Cookieless identification and tracking of devices

On August 21, 2017, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released an informative piece regarding cookieless identification and tracking of devices.

 

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Dishonesty in hiring process constitutes cause for dismissal

A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has confirmed that, in certain scenarios, an employee’s dishonesty in the hiring process will constitute cause for dismissal. In this case, the plaintiff’s claim for wrongful termination was dismissed when the court found that the plaintiff’s omission on a security questionnaire amounted to dishonesty that went to the core of the employment relationship and was irreconcilable with sustained employment.

 

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PHIPA fines in the workplace

This spring the largest penalty to date was issued under Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). A social work student was convicted of accessing personal health information without authorization, and ordered pay a $20,000 fine and a $5,000 victim fine surcharge.

 

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Video cameras in the workplace – The Vigi Santé Ltée decision: The Court of Appeal weighs in

The presence of video cameras in the workplace, as well as other measures of surveillance put in place by employers, have generated considerable commentary in recent years in Quebec. Administrative and civil tribunals are increasingly called upon to rule on the legality of these measures which are increasingly accessible to employers, as well as to assess their probative value in the context of the administration of evidence.

 

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Caméras vidéo en milieu de travail – L’arrêt Vigi Santé Ltée : La cour d’appel se prononce

La présence de caméras vidéo en milieu de travail, ainsi que d’autres mesures de surveillance mises en place par un employeur, font couler beaucoup d’encre depuis quelques années au Québec. En effet, les tribunaux administratifs et civils sont de plus en plus appelés à se prononcer sur la légalité de ces mesures dorénavant accessibles aux employeurs, ainsi qu’à en évaluer la force probante dans un contexte d’administration de la preuve.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: a warning from the Privacy Commissioner not to reuse passwords, a company that contravened privacy law by releasing the results of an employee’s drug test and Alberta’s investigation of serious workplace health and safety incidents.

 

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Privacy Commissioner provides some tips for businesses regarding passwords

The Privacy Commissioner Canada has recently released some tips for mitigating risk to businesses involving passwords. One main problem is that individuals use the same password for multiple accounts – this puts them at a much higher risk of experiencing a breach.

 

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Departing employees gone rogue

The business consequences of departing employees gone rogue were recently highlighted in Prim8 Group Inc. v Tisi. In that case, an officer and director of Prim8 Group Inc. (Tisi) resigned from his employment to set up a competing business. Two days before his resignation, Tisi removed electronic equipment from Prim8’s premises, some of which contained proprietary information, and refused to return it. Shortly thereafter, another employee resigned from Prim8 without notice to join Tisi’s competing business.

 

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Social media background checks and privacy laws

Social media has drastically changed the way people communicate and do business. Naturally, employers may want to take advantage of the convenience of performing background checks on social media. But with increased use of social media comes increased risk of a privacy violation.

 

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Health record snooping nets hefty fine

In a recent case out of Goderich, Ontario a $20,000 fine, the highest of its kind in Canada, was handed out for a health privacy violation.

 

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Workplace health and safety law and partisan political arguments

workplace partisan political arguments

In March, a discussion was posted with respect to how workplace political expression could go awry with human rights law. The article also provided some best practices on how human resources professionals and employers can appropriately address human rights complaints specifically on the basis of political belief, activity or association. This following discussion, “Part 2”, addresses how workplace political expression could also contravene harassment provisions under occupational health and safety legislation.

 

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