On February 22, 2013, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of
Canada (OPC) released a summary of findings in two cases arising
out of inappropriate sharing of information between two summer
camps about a child following an online application for a summer
The issue arose when the child's legal guardian completed an
online application for a position at a camp. The child had spent
the previous two summers at a different camp. The OPC report of
findings notes that the child is disabled. During the online
application process, the legal guardian accepted an
"Additional Agreement", which, according to the OPC,
provided that "camp directors, at their discretion, could
use the information supplied in applications for any
The prospective camp contacted the first camp and asked
questions about the child's history at the previous camp and
the level of support that the child required as a camper. The
exchange came to light when the prospective camp allegedly refused
the child's application on the basis that the child could not
be supported at the camp and that the "child's
disabilities would not be fair to other campers."
Although the camps claimed that sharing of information about
children was commonplace in order to assure that campers have a
successful summer, the camps were members of the Ontario Camps
Association, which adheres to a Code of Professional Ethics,
requiring camps to adhere to the Personal Information
Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
The previous camp did not obtain any form of consent to the
disclosure of a child's application history or experience at
the camp. This was a fairly open and shut violation of the
requirement of PIPEDA to obtain consent to the disclosure of
However, the prospective camp defended against the complaint on
the basis that the legal guardian had consented to the collection,
use and disclosure of personal information about the child when the
legal guardian accepted the "Additional Agreement".
Not so, found the OPC. The "Additional
Agreement" was too general and overly broad to obtain
meaningful consent to the collection, use and disclosure of
"This Office does not share the view of the first
camp's director that the complainant's consent was obtained
by her agreeing to the terms of the application she submitted,
including the terms of the application's "Additional
Agreement". We examined the application as well as that
statements regarding how the information supplied is to be used are
overly broad and not sufficient to obtain consent to collect
personal information from a third party as part of the enrolment
The prospective camp made four errors:
The prospective camp used information in the application to
conduct a background check on the child by contacting the previous
The prospective camp disclosed information to the previous camp
in order to elicit information about the child.
The prospective camp collected information from the previous
The prospective camp used the information from the previous
camp in order to evaluate the child's application.
The OPC findings with respect to the previous camp, can be found
here. The OPC findings with respect to the prospective camp can
FMC is one of Canada's leading business and litigation law
firms with more than 500 lawyers in six full-service offices
located in the country's key business centres. We focus on
providing outstanding service and value to our clients, and we
strive to excel as a workplace of choice for our people. Regardless
of where you choose to do business in Canada, our strong team of
professionals possess knowledge and expertise on regional, national
and cross-border matters. FMC's well-earned reputation for
consistently delivering the highest quality legal services and
counsel to our clients is complemented by an ongoing commitment to
diversity and inclusion to broaden our insight and perspective on
our clients' needs. Visit:
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).