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privacy

Personal information online: new tools, old responsibilities

Sometimes, technology creates new ways to exploit information faster than the law and business can keep up. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is trying to make sure that doesn’t happen in the case of behavioural advertising. Last year, the Privacy Commissioner conducted consultations on the new ways that organizations are collecting and using customers’ personal information, and prepared its Report on the 2010 Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Consultations on Online Tracking, Profiling and Targeting, and Cloud Computing.

 

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Facebook, privacy and the workplace

You might have heard about the case in which two car dealership workers were fired for cause after they wrote offensive and harassing messages on Facebook about their employer and managers.

 

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Employees with disabilities: disclosure v. privacy

One of the most difficult decisions employees or applicants have to make is to decide whether to inform their employer of their non-obvious disabilities. Why?

 

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Employers may not be able to conduct Facebook checks on prospective employees

I just read an interesting article saying that Germany may be the first to pass a law making it illegal for prospective employers to spy on applicants’ private postings on Facebook. Do you think this type of law could ever be passed in Canada?

 

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Customer privacy policies and employee handling of customer personal information

A weekend Toronto Star article reported that employees at the Canada Revenue Agency are improperly reviewing the private financial affairs of taxpayers. Some are using agency computers to give favoured treatment to colleagues, friends, family—and themselves…

 

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Privacy risk management – by design

I’ve discussed the Privacy by Design principle before, in the Inside Internal Control newsletter. In case you don’t know, PbD is an approach developed by Dr. Ann Cavoukian, the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, which proactively embeds privacy protection by default in the design of an organization’s practices and products.

 

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The new age of workplace gossip – TMI!

I’ve discussed workplace gossip here before, and what bosses can do to prevent it or at least reduce the potential harm, but there are a couple of hyper-modern developments that I didn’t get into: reality television and the Internet. These two things have created a culture of “sharing”, for lack of a better word, that encourages people at play or work to divulge the most mundane and private details of their lives to others—the kind of information that one previously might only have shared with family or best friends.

 

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Collecting human rights-based data – yes you can!

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) recently launched a new guide that provides information and advice on collecting human rights-based data in a wide variety of sectors across Ontario. The guide, Count me in!, aims to dispel fears of collecting human rights-based data, and provides a plain language, common-sense framework for collecting said data in a way that can build trust and encourage proactive solutions.

 

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Background checks: Of job applications and credit checks

Starting in 2006, Mark’s Work Wearhouse in Alberta was running background credit checks on employees looking for work at the clothing store. Not criminal record checks; not general reference checks; credit checks.

 

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Refusing work if workplace violence is likely to endanger

What do you do when an employee tells you she’s refusing to work because she fears she’ll suffer from an act of violence at the workplace? You might ask: can the worker even do that? With workplace violence and harassment legislation and regulation spreading across Canada, you might just need to know.

 

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