Personal Data Protection and PIPEDA Compliance in the Digital Age
Data is a valuable resource for every Vancouver firm and business. Learn how to protect your data, safeguard your clients, and stay PIPEDA compliant.
Every business is connected by a single common denominator: the collection and use of personal data. Regardless of industry, size, reach, or revenue, it rests on the shoulders of businesses to understand and protect their data in compliance with local, national, and even global laws. In Canada, data protection falls under the purview of PIPEDA. Initially enacted in 2000, these federal laws are continually updated to stay ahead of changing technology. If you haven’t already, it’s time to initiate a plan for data protection within your business, and it all starts with understanding PIPEDA.
What is PIPEDA?
Canadian privacy laws have been at the forefront of global data protection for over two decades. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, also known as PIPEDA, is based on ten principles surrounding the collection, use, and transfer of personal data. These ten principles have also formed the foundation of other legislation, including the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Of the ten principles, some of the more prominent ones include:
- Identifying the purpose for collecting personal data
- Gaining customer consent to collect that data
- Instituting a Privacy Officer to manage compliance and accountability
- Securing data against theft, loss, or cyber threats
While this is just a sample of PIPEDA’s regulations, it is clear that data protection plays a significant role in any business.
PIPEDA vs. PIPA
For firms and organizations in British Columbia, understanding PIPEDA may seem irrelevant. Local legislation, namely the Personal Information and Protection Act (PIPA), is what determines how Vancouver and other BC firms handle their data protection. If your firm transfers data—or does business—across territorial or international borders, however, PIPEDA most certainly comes into play. By understanding how to stay compliant under both regulatory bodies, you will ensure your data and clients remain secure.
Implementing Data Protection in Your Business
Why is data protection such an essential topic for Canadian firms? With the increased risk of hacking, ransomware, and other cyber threats, as well as the increased complexity of how and why we utilize data, it stands to reason that the continuous monitoring and improvement of our data practices should be a top priority.
In an article from the Canadian government outlining the reasons for strengthening privacy and protection, the author noted that “Data is the fuel to grow the Canadian data-driven economy, yet complex data flows involving numerous parties, often across borders, can reduce an individuals’ sense of control over their personal information and ultimately their trust that it can be adequately protected.”
What is your role? The first step to building a reputation and practice of quality data protection is complying with the rules of both PIPEDA and PIPA within your Vancouver-based firm. By understanding both laws, your firm—and your clients—are safeguarded against unexpected privacy malpractice or infringement. The next step is to create a system of data governance, understanding where your data is stored, used, and how and where it is transferred daily.
Possibly one of the most critical steps to adequately protect your data is implementing a cybersecurity plan that works to preemptively defend against threats as well as handle security breaches if and when they take place. Your cybersecurity plan can include enhanced software, firewalls, 24-hour monitoring, or the inclusion of third-party IT support. However, you choose to move forward in this digital age. The goal remains the same: take whatever action is most necessary and effective to improve your data protection and PIPEDA compliance.
IT Support for Vancouver Firms
Compunet Infotech works closely with Vancouver-area firms to enhance and improve their data protection practices. Whether your firm has an in-house IT team that needs added support, or you are seeking complete managed IT services, Compunet has over 30 years of experience helping firms manage compliance, cybersecurity, and IT best practices. Get the support you need from your local experts.