Many businesses in Canada are becoming more aware that they have privacy obligations, but are still confused about which laws apply to them.
This post will break down the various pieces of privacy legislation and when they may apply to your business.
PIPEDA (The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) - this is Canadian federal legislation. It applies to businesses who collect "personal information" in the course of their commercial activities. "Personal information" includes any information that is linked to an identifiable individual. This applies to all businesses in most of Canada (see below).
Province Specific Privacy Laws - Some provinces in Canada have made their own privacy laws that apply either in place of PIPEDA (Quebec, Alberta, BC) or in addition to PIPEDA (i.e. for health-related information - Ontario, NB, NL and NS). To read further on these provincial laws - click here. For some organizations, the...
Here are five things that you need to know about the legal stuff when you are using social media for your business:
1. You are a Tenant (not an Owner) when you use social media platforms. If you don't follow the rules, the Landlord might kick you out.
2. Make sure you have the right to share the content you are sharing. Don't take other's content without their permission or a license and get a release if you are creating content using other people's likeness.
3. Have a social media policy for your business. This will get everyone on the same page and protect against risks of privacy breaches, defamation or damage to your brand.
4. Copyright laws protect the original content that you create and publish. You can enforce your rights to it.
5. Know the CASL (anti-spam) rules for Canada. These rules cover all commercial electronic messages (i.e. DMs, texts) not just email. Know how you can add people to your email list within the rules.
An e-mail list is one of the most important and valuable assets to an online or bricks and mortar business.
When Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation came into effect in 2014, this had a chilling effect on the e-mail marketing efforts of many small businesses. Many business became afraid to send e-mails for fear of breaking this law. This legislation is federal and applies across Canada.
The general rule is that if you are sending “commercial electronic messages” which include e-mails, you need the consent of the recipient of the message. Whenever you can get this express written consent from a client or prospect, you should record it and store it. This could include having them check a box electronically on a website, or on paper ballots or contest entries.
The good news for small businesses is that there are several useful exceptions where you have implied consent if you have not obtained express consent (permission in writing)....