The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Canada) (the “Federal Privacy Act”) requires an organization that is collecting, using or disclosing personal information to obtain the individual’s consent in most circumstances. While certain information filed in SEDI is personal information within the meaning of the Federal Privacy Act, the Act provides an exemption from the consent requirement in respect of personal information that is, by law, collected and placed in a public registry if the collection, use and disclosure relates directly to the purposes for which the personal information appears in the public registry. This exemption is based on the recognition that often there are legitimate primary purposes for which the personal information is collected, used or disclosed and, therefore, as long as the information is collected, used or disclosed for the primary purposes, no consent is required.
In Quebec, the Act Respecting Access to Documents Held by Public Bodies and the Protection of Personal Information, R.S.Q. c. A-2.1 (the “Public Sector Act”) and the Act Respecting the Protection of Personal Information in the Private Sector, R.S.Q. c. P-39.1 (the “Private Sector Act”) are both applicable to information filed in SEDI. Under the Public Sector Act, personal information which, by law, is public is not considered to be nominative (or personal) and, therefore, is not confidential. The Private Sector Act, which applies to persons engaged in carrying on an enterprise (excluding a public body within the meaning of the Public Sector Act and any person that holds information on behalf of the public body), requires an individual’s consent to the use or disclosure of personal information concerning the individual in most circumstances. Further, this consent must be manifest, free and enlightened, and must be given for specific purposes. However, Bill 122, which will amend the Private Sector Act and which was introduced in the Quebec legislature on May 11, 2000, will harmonize the Private Sector Act with the Public Sector Act. Bill 122 provides that personal information which, by law, is public is not confidential. Consequently, if the Quebec legislature adopts Bill 122, the use and communication of publicly available information filed in SEDI will not be subject to the consent requirement in the Private Sector Act.
*This title was provided by Lexata; it is not part of the companion policy.