An organization over which the Alberta Privacy Commissioner has
jurisdiction must make a notification to the Alberta Privacy
Commissioner of a breach that a reasonable person would consider to
involve a real risk of significant harm. The Canadian approach to
jurisdiction requires that there be a real and substantial
connection regarding the subject matter of the incident and Alberta
before the Alberta Privacy Commissioner claims jurisdiction.
The outer limits of the real and substantial connection test in
respect of privacy issues has not been fully developed. The test
will be satisfied where the organization (other than a federally
regulated organization) has a place of business or registered
office in Alberta. Federally regulated organizations are subject to
the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic
Documents Act (PIPEDA).
When dealing with foreign organizations, the real and
substantial connection test is likely to be satisfied where a
foreign organization has representatives in Alberta conducting
business on its behalf collecting personal information of residents
of Alberta even though that organization does not maintain an
office in Alberta. The test may also be met if a foreign
organization is engaged in non-trivial activities in Alberta
through electronic means that involve the collection, use and
disclosure of personal information of persons resident in Alberta
even when the organization does not have representatives in
Alberta. However, each situation involving foreign organizations
must be assessed on a case by case basis.
If the Alberta Act applies, then it is an offence
under paragraph 59(1)(e.1) of the Alberta Act to fail to provide
the required notification to the Privacy Commissioner of a privacy
breach that meets the harm-based threshold discussed in
It is also an offence under paragraph 59(1)(f) not to comply
with an order of the Privacy Commissioner to provide notification
to affected individuals, which was discussed in
These offences are punishable by a fine of up to Cdn. $10,000
for an individual and Cdn. $100,000 for a corporation or other
entity. There is a two-year limitation period on prosecutions.
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