Undoubtedly, technology has connected the world beyond barriers of geography and location. Personal information can now be collected for every action taken on the internet and it seems like one can’t fully maximize the potentials of the internet if their information is not taken. A PIPEDA compliance certificate tells your clients that your business is able to keep their personal information secure.
Putting a policy in place to regulate the safety of the internet’s users’ private information has become expedient; especially with cybercriminals ravaging the internet for their next victim. This is what PIPEDA has been designed to do for you.
Gaining a PIPEDA compliance certificate can help your company do business securely in Canada. Here’s how to obtain one in the most efficient way possible.
What is PIPEDA Compliance?
PIPEDA is an acronym for Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. PIPEDA is a Canadian law that protects the rights and privacy of consumers in Canada. It indicates how non-governmental organizations are supposed to obtain, use and distribute information provided by consumers. The organizations covered by PIPEDA must obtain the approval of their consumers when collecting, using or disclosing their personal data.
Since the Federal Act is basically geared towards protecting the rights and privacy of private sectors’ consumers, organizations that are covered by the PIPEDA law must put adequate measures in place to show that they are ready to comply with the laid down rules.
The PIPEDA compliance certificate is issued to private organizations covered by the PIPEDA law on the consensus to abide by the regulations of the consumers’ rights and privacy. This certificate allows these organizations to run their businesses in accordance with the PIPEDA law of the Canadian Federal Government.
Is PIPEDA Universal or Restricted to Some Particular Countries?
PIPEDA is a federal legislation with the force of law in all jurisdictions across Canada, but the Act equally permits the Privacy Commissioner to exempt a province from the application of PIPEDA if that province has enacted “substantially similar” provincial privacy legislation.
In such a case, the provincial legislation that regulates the privacy obligations of an organization, and PIPEDA has no application. Provinces like Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta are currently exempted from the autonomy of PIPEDA since they have provincial laws that put the usage of personal information in check.
International companies that are operational in Canada whether physically or in cyberspace are equally bound by the PIPEDA enacted laws. As long as services like web hosting are rendered to residents of Canada, they are subjected to PIPEDA
How Do You Obtain a PIPEDA Compliance Certificate?
The application of PIPEDA is guided by ten basic principles for compliance. Each serves to further the Act’s essential theme: organizations may not collect, use, or disclose personal information in the course of commercial activities without an informed consent of the individual who is the subject of that information. All organizations subjected to PIPEDA must implement policies that respect its guidelines.
Not all these principles are mandatory; while some are, others are only recommendations. The difference is seen in whether the term “shall” or “should” has been used in describing the principle. When taken together, these principles outline a company’s model for PIPEDA compliance. The ten principles are:
- Accountability: this principle states that an organization shall designate someone to be accountable for the management of personal information, which includes the collection, usage, disclosure, retention and transfer of private information to third parties. This means that an organization cannot share people’s information at will.
- Identifying purposes: this principle stipulates that an organization must clearly identify the purpose for which personal information is collected, before or at the time of collection. Identifying purpose helps such organizations comply with other principles like individual access and openness.
- Consent: the principle of consent provides that organizations must seek the knowledge and consent of individuals while collecting, using, or disclosing personal information and it must be done in a way they clearly understand.
- Limiting collection: with this principle, the information an organization is to request for must be restricted to what is needed for the purposes identified.
- Limiting use, disclosure and retention: A company may not use or disclose personal information for any purposes other than those agreed to by the individual. Such companies may not also retain information longer than necessary for the purposes the individual agreed to.
- Accuracy: organizations must ensure that personal details are kept accurate, complete, and updated to reduce the possibility that inappropriate information is used to make decisions about the individual. However, a company is not under compulsion to routinely update information, unless the updates are needed for the purposes consented to.
- Safeguards: Companies must protect the personal information in their control to avoid loss, theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use and modification. Safeguards include physical measures (i.e., locks), technological measures (i.e., encryption, passwords) organizational measures (i.e., security clearances, limiting access to information).
- Openness: Companies must be open about their policies and practices on management of personal information by making its policies readily available to the public in a form that is generally understandable. This can be achieved, by posting its personal information management policies on its company website.
- Individual access: states that a company must allow individuals to know what information the company holds about them and to whom the information has been disclosed. The individual must be allowed to access that information, challenge the accuracy of the information where necessary and have the information amended.
- Challenging compliance: this principle implies that a company must establish and maintain a complaint process for receiving and resolving complaints about their personal information handling practices. Individuals with inquiries must also be aware of this complaint process, and must be readily accessible and easy to use.
How To Make Your Business PIPEDA Compliant
Set up a risk management committee that will be responsible for reaching individuals whose data need to be updated, create hotlines where customers can quickly reach you to resolve complaints immediately such that there won’t be a need to reach out to the Privacy Commissioner Office.
Basic Privacy Tips For Businesses
- Ensure your customers consent to every information you are requesting for and limit the collect and retention of it.
- Properly train your staffs on privacy protection training
- Put a restriction to who can access customers private data
- If you can, don’t request for sensitive information like National PIN or Driver’s license
- Your customer should be well informed if you are using video surveillance
- Quickly respond to access to personal information in a timely manner and ensure they know who to speak with
- Be quick to report any breach in security that could result in significant harm to the individual.
The growing cases of malicious actors all over the world can be curbed if businesses adhere to privacy laws, rules, and regulations. Too many security mishaps have happened in the past because of non-compliance to privacy laws.
In Canada, it’s important to ensure that every operational business is PIPEDA compliant. This will help you run a hitch-free business, and that will certainly translate into profitability for your company.
Our experts at RSI security are well-equipped to help your business achieve Canada PIPEDA compliance. We will work with you every step of the way to ensure you’re operating your business in the best possible way, adhering to all relevant privacy laws, rules, and regulations. Contact us today to get the best service available anywhere!