Manitoba’s New Privacy Law has Implications for Cross-Border Employers

The Canadian Province of Manitoba has enacted privacy legislation governing the collection, use and dissemination of personal information, including employee personal information. With the legislation, Manitoba joins the other Canadian Provinces of Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia in providing special protection for employee personal data. Private-sector employers with operations in Manitoba should ensure their data collection and protection are in compliance with the Manitoba Personal Information Protection and Identity Theft Protection Act (PIPITPA), or risk fines of up to $100,000. Under PIPITPA, an organization must take care to ensure that “personal information,” defined as information about an identifiable individual, in its custody or under its control, may only be collected, used or disclosed with the permission of that individual. This includes personal information related to employees. To that end, employers should designate a compliance officer to oversee the collection, use and dissemination of personal data, and must establish policies and procedures governing the employer’s handling of employee personal data. PIPITPA is still awaiting proclamation, which sets the date the legislation will come into force. Although no effective date has been set yet, employers are advised to begin planning for PIPITA as soon as possible.

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