Privacy Law with Patrick O’Neil
Privacy law is all the buzz right now, but how does it affect your business?
The answer: in a myriad of ways, some of which you might not have even considered.
“On the one hand, privacy laws can provide protection against unwanted collection and use of your, or your business’, private information,” explains Patrick O’Neil, corporate commercial lawyer with Burchell MacDougall’s Truro office, “On the other hand, your non-compliance with privacy laws can have a stiff price.”
Various laws, both federal and provincial, protect individuals and businesses from the unauthorized collection, use or disclosure of private information, including financial information, health information, and demographic information. If you feel your privacy has been breached, you may file a complaint with a privacy commissioner or seek a civil remedy through the courts.
“Privacy laws also require you and your business to ensure the protection of any private information you obtain about others,” he says, “Employers should also note that they can sometimes be responsible for breaches by their employees of the privacy rights of customers, other employees, or others.”
Additionally, employers must respect the privacy rights of their employees.
“This can be a minefield in today’s digital world,” Patrick goes on, “Social media use is now the norm, and the lines between “work” and “home” are becoming more and more blurred.”
Failure to comply with privacy laws can result in fines as well as court-ordered damage awards, and awareness is crucial for business owners to protect themselves. Ignorance of the law is not a defence.
This article is for information only and is not intended to be legal advice. If you have any questions or would like further information, you should consult a lawyer.