PIPEDA, which is short for Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, is a Canadian law protecting the rights and privacy of consumers in Canada. The law specifies how private organizations are supposed to collect, use and distribute data from consumers.
The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) deals with the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information for commercial activity in Canada. Essentially, if your practice collects information from patients, it can only be used for the purpose that it was collected for. If you wish to use it for another purpose, you must obtain consent from the patient.
Provinces such as Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec have their own privacy laws, similar to PIPEDA. These laws have been put in place to protect the privacy and personal information of consumers.
What is personal information?Under PIPEDA, personal information includes any factual or subjective information, recorded or not, about an identifiable individual. This includes information in any form, such as:
- age, name, ID numbers, income, ethnic origin, or blood type;
- opinions, evaluations, comments, social status, or disciplinary actions; and
- employee files, credit records, loan records, medical records, the existence of a dispute between a consumer and a merchant, intentions (for example, to acquire goods or services, or change jobs).