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Frequently Asked Questions

This list contains tips and information pertaining to the topics that businesses often ask questions about when they communicate with us.

What does my business need to do to comply with PIPEDA?

PIPEDA sets out ten principles of fairness in the handling of information that businesses must follow. For more details and helpful tips on how to comply with PIPEDA, take a look at our A Guide to Privacy Protection for Businesses.

What are the most common privacy complaints made by individuals at businesses?

Individual complaints cover a variety of privacy issues. Our Ten tips for avoiding complaints to the Office of the Commissioner report some common problems.

What happens when someone files a complaint against my business?

When we receive a complaint, we assign an investigator to establish the relevant facts. To learn more about the process, see our Guide for Organizations to Investigate Complaints Under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

Can I use video surveillance in my business while respecting the privacy of my customers and employees?

First, consider whether less privacy-invasive measures might meet your business needs. If you install video surveillance cameras, clearly inform your customers and employees. To find out more, see our Guidelines for video surveillance using non-concealed devices in the private sector.

Can I ask my clients to give me their driver's license number or their social insurance number?

Identity information – like these numbers – is very sensitive and should only be collected if absolutely necessary. For more information, see guidance documents for companies on collecting driver's license number and the use of social Security number

Where can I learn more about how my office interprets and applies PIPEDA?

The Commissioner's office publishes summaries and reports on its business surveys. It contains concrete examples of the steps it is taking to enforce PIPEDA.