Archives: Privacy

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Tips for Recruiting Online

Gone are the days of posting job ads in the newspaper. Like most things these days job recruitment takes place primarily online. It is important for employers to know how to comply with the law in the online environment – human rights, accessibility and in some cases privacy laws will apply. In general, the laws … Continue Reading

PHIPA Fines in the Workplace

This spring the largest penalty to date was issued under Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act (“PHIPA”). A social work student was convicted of accessing personal health information without authorization, and ordered pay a $20,000 fine and a $5,000 victim fine surcharge after pleading guilty to “willfully accessing the personal health information of five individuals.” … Continue Reading

Top 3 Uniquely Canadian Workplace Issues

Toronto is a great place to be a tech employer. It’s a cool city with exciting innovation and talent. If you’re a US company considering getting in on the action in Toronto, there are few things you should know about the True North. Canada strives to have workplaces that are tolerant and inclusive and employees … Continue Reading

Privacy Law v Freedom of Expression

Privacy law in Canada continues to grapple with that delicate balance between individual privacy and freedom of expression.  The recent case Chandra v. CBC provides an interesting commentary on the quickly changing world of privacy law. In 2012 the Ontario Court of Appeal recognized the independent privacy tort of “intrusion upon seclusion”. Prior to this … Continue Reading

Cyberloafing, Time Theft or Productive Multi-Tasking?

Can an employer monitor (i.e. spy on) their employees’ online productivity (i.e. slacker, time-wasting cyberloafing)?  Today I participated in a Lancaster House session on “Cyberloafing, Cyberspying” – two sides of the same labour relations coin, but full of divergent expectations and perspectives.  I learned a ton from my fellow panelists, Dan Scott and Susan Munn, … Continue Reading

Coworking Part 2: Data & Privacy Risks

In my last blog post, I discussed the emerging importance of coworking spaces in the post-industrial workforce.  In this part two of the series, at the risk of bursting this utopian post-industrial bubble, I set out some of the more pressing employment law issues with coworking spaces:  confidential information, data security, privacy and ownership of … Continue Reading

No, Privacy is Not Dead

There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a massive shift in how we consume information and how we communicate with each other.  And there is also no doubt that those under 20 who grew up not knowing any different will have a very different kind of comfort around the online universe.  … Continue Reading

Do Individual Rights to Privacy Trump the Union’s Charter Rights on the Picketline?

When addressing the dispute at a union’s picketline, which interest trumps:  your individual right to privacy or a union’s right to freedom of expression?  This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada ("SCC") released a seminal case that aggressively concludes that the union’s constitutional right will prevail over an individual’s privacy rights arising out of the … Continue Reading

Implementing a Successful BYOD Program

Last week, I conducted a workshop on implementing a successful “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) program at the Canadian Institute’s Privacy Law & Compliance Conference.  I met a wonderful group of privacy experts who had plenty to contribute to the discussion.  We talked about the benefits, risks and costs of permitting employees to use their … Continue Reading

Fingerprint Technology to Replace HR?

Last week, a friend sent me a link to the Toronto Star article, “Bay Street law firm uses fingerprint technology to monitor employees’ comings and going”.  The subtitle is, “The days of sneaking out of the office for three-hour lunch breaks will soon be over at one Bay Street law firm.” According to the article, … Continue Reading

Data Privacy When Employees Leave

Employees often take work-related data with them when they resign or are terminated from employment.  In many cases, it is an inadvertent act that has happened over time by using their own device or email account to work after hours. Emily Chung, technology writer from CBC News interviewed me and wrote the following piece, exploring the issue: … Continue Reading

Privacy and Porn on Workplace Computers

Employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the personal information on their workplace computers, even if that expectation can be significantly diminished with effective workplace policies and practices.  However, whether such reasonable expectations extend to workplace computer evidence admitted in a criminal proceeding was addressed in last Friday’s highly anticipated Supreme Court of Canada … Continue Reading

Terms of Service and Employee Social Media Passwords

Over the last couple of months, there has been an interesting debate in Canada and the US about whether an employer can ask for a social media password. For some of the highlights of the conversation in Ontario, see: Toronto Star article on March 20, 2012;  Dan Michaluk at All About Information; Andrew Langille’s blog Youth and Work; and David … Continue Reading

New Ontario Social Media Reference Check Guidelines

Last Thursday, the Ontario Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner released its new guide for online reference checks.  In the face of the recent debates about whether an employer can request personal social media passwords during job interviews, the release of this document is quite timely. The guideline is entitled, Reference Check:  Is Your Boss Watching?  … Continue Reading

New Tort of Privacy in Ontario

As of today, individuals can now sue for the tort of privacy in Ontario.   (Thanks to Professor Doorey for the heads up in a tweet and blog post this afteroon). The new tort is based on the following statement: One who intentionally intrudes, physically or otherwise, upon the seclusion of another or his or her private affairs … Continue Reading

Privacy in the Workplace 101

Privacy in the workplace is an area that invites a broad range of views and perspectives.  Whether the information relates to data on an electronic device such as an employer-provided computer or blackberry, or personal employee information such as bank account information for pay cheque deposits, we all expect some degree of privacy in the workplace.  What remains in dispute in … Continue Reading
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