PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTOR LAWS
In Canada, the federal private sector privacy legislation, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), came into force on January 1, 2001.
Since January 2001, PIPEDA has applied to federally regulated companies, such as airlines, banking, broadcasting, interprovincial transportation and telecommunications. Since January 1, 2004, PIPEDA has applied to every organization that collects, uses or discloses personal information in the course of a commercial activity. However, the federal government may exempt organizations and/or activities within provinces that have adopted privacy legislation that is substantially similar to PIPEDA.
For the public sector at the federal level, the Privacy Act governs the handling of personal information by government bodies. Provincial government bodies are governed by the Freedom of Information laws.
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