The Alberta government previously announced it would address the
constitutional issues raised by the Supreme Court's decision
and amend PIPA during the Fall Legislative sitting.
However, the Third Session of the Alberta Legislature is not set to
begin until November 17, 2014, which means the Alberta government
will not meet the deadline originally imposed by the Supreme Court.
The Alberta government therefore filed a motion with the Supreme
Court seeking a time extension and, on October 30, 2014, a six-month extension was granted.
If the Supreme Court had refused to grant the extension (causing
PIPA to become "invalid"), the federal
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents
Act ("PIPEDA") would have likely applied in
the Province of Alberta and would have governed the collection, use
and disclosure of personal information by private organizations,
provided the information was collected, used or disclosed for
The extension of the deadline to amend PIPA is
important for employers, employees and all Alberta residents given
the unique attributes of the Alberta legislation. For instance,
PIPA provides for mandatory notification of information
security breaches to the Alberta Commissioner, and allows for local
enforcement of the legislation without the involvement of courts
(this is because the Alberta Commissioner has order-making power,
whereas the Federal Commissioner does not). PIPA also
provides for the protection of privacy rights of provincially
regulated private sector employers. In contrast, PIPEDA
does not apply to personal information of employees, other than
employees of federally-regulated businesses, such as airlines,
chartered banks and telecommunications providers.
As PIPA continues to be in force,
provincially-regulated employers in Alberta should continue to
adhere to the terms of their privacy policies and procedures. We
anticipate that the Alberta government will introduce an amended
PIPA in a substantially similar form when the Legislature
resumes sitting this fall.
The Government of Alberta now has until May 15, 2015 to amend
PIPA. We recommend that employers keep their eye on
upcoming changes to PIPA to ensure that their privacy
policies and procedures continue to be compliant following the
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.
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