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Cloud computing, identity theft, database security, surveillance, privacy policies, and access to information: individuals and businesses are increasingly faced with challenging issues in the area of information access and privacy. The Field Law Privacy Group is a recognized leader in the privacy law field, offering a full range of services to guide our clients through the complex landscape of privacy law.

Field Law helps corporations and public bodies protect their businesses and strengthen their relationships with their customers and the public. We work with our clients to draft and review internal and external privacy policies, as well as corporate transactions involving contracts and other legal documents such as non-disclosure agreements, waivers, confidentiality agreements and releases. We provide our clients with sound and practical advice on records management issues, confidentiality matters, employee and customer information management, reporting privacy breaches and compliance with mandatory reporting legislation. We provide responsive research and legal opinion services, and offer training and seminars on a full spectrum of privacy related topics.

Field Law offers a full range of services in court and administrative proceedings. We advise and act for public bodies, health service providers, individuals and businesses in Information and Privacy Commissioner inquiries and investigations. We act for our clients in all aspects of civil, criminal and administrative proceedings, including records production issues, judicial reviews, and civil litigation. We also work with our clients and third party consultants on Privacy Impact Assessments and information management practices.

The services we provide to public and private sector employers include:

  • Providing practical advice to clients concerning the collection, use and disclosure of information under the applicable legislation, including the Personal Information Protection Act (Alberta), the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Alberta) and the Health Information Act (Alberta).
  • Assisting clients in understanding what information needs to be provided to an individual who requests access to information and assisting in responding to access requests.
  • Providing advice to clients with respect to the circumstances in which personal information can be disclosed without breaching applicable privacy statutes.
  • Assisting clients with the management of employee information.
  • Working with clients who have inadvertently disclosed personal information to manage the privacy breach, including whether the breach must be reported to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
  • Representing clients before privacy commissioners, whether provincial or federal, in the context of complaints, inquiries and investigations.
  • Representing clients before courts in applications for judicial review from decisions of privacy commissioners.
  • Representing clients before courts in applications to produce records under rule 5.13 of the Alberta Rules of Court (Alberta).
  • Defending clients who have been sued for breach of privacy.
  • Drafting privacy policies, procedures, and operational manuals to assist clients in ensuring that policies and procedures are compliant with applicable privacy legislation.
  • Providing customized training to clients and their employees on applicable legislation and the implementation and enforcement of their policies, procedures and operational manuals.

Anti-Spam Legislation

On July 1, 2014, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) came into force. CASL regulates the form and content of electronic communications and imposes consent requirements. Failure to comply with CASL could lead to the imposition of large fines and ultimately will give affected individuals a private right of action. In light of CASL’s broad application, stringent standards for consent, and penalties for non-compliance, organizations that send electronic messages should develop a compliance plan.

CASL is complex legislation, with detailed regulations, and with various federal bodies involved in its interpretation and enforcement. Field Law’s Privacy Group can help your organization understand the new requirements. We can assist with review of your organization’s marketing and communication practices and have experience in the following areas:

  • Providing practical advice to clients concerning compliance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Canada) and CASL.
  • Representing clients before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commissioner in the context of proceedings under CASL.
  • Reviewing and auditing client organization’s current marketing and communications practices for CASL compliance.
  • Developing and implementing CASL compliance action plans.
  • Preparing CASL-compliant consent forms and processes, unsubscription mechanisms, and identification notices.
  • Reviewing client agreements with third party providers to ensure compliance with CASL.
February 2019
A New Approach to the Reasonable Expectation of Privacy: R v Jarvis, 2019 SCC 10
Labour + Employment
Though it emerges in a criminal law context, the new decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in R v Jarvis, 2019 SCC 10 is likely to have an impact on future cases that consider the scope of an individual’s privacy interest, whether in the crimin...
February 6, 2019
2018 Year in Review for Northern Employers
Seminars
Join Field Law for a review of the most important legal cases from 2018. Topics covered will include: Labour Employment Human Rights Occupational Health + Safety Privacy Immigration Cannabis This seminar will be broadcast live via ...
Winter 2019
2018 A Year in Review Seminar Series
Seminars
The Field Law Labour and Employment Group presents the annual Year in Review seminars in Calgary and Edmonton. Join us for legal updates and practical challenges for management and employee groups in the areas of:  Part 1: Human Rights ...
December 2017
R v Jarvis: Is There a Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in Schools?
Workwise Newsletter
In R v Jarvis, the Ontario Court of Appeal recently discussed the existence of a reasonable expectation of privacy in a school environment.BackgroundThe Respondent, a high school teacher, was surreptitiously recording female students and teachers using...
June 2017
Government of Canada Suspends CASL's Private Right of Action Provisions
By Order in Council dated June 7, 2017, the federal government suspended the coming into force of the private right of action provisions under Canada’s Anti-Spam legislation (CASL), “in response to broad-based concerns raised by businesses,...
May 2017
Legislation Protecting Victims of Non-Consensual Distribution of Intimate Images
On May 1, 2017, the Alberta legislature passed Bill 202, which created the Protecting Victims of Non-Consensual Distribution of Intimate Images Act (the “Act”). The Act seeks to protect individuals from having intimate images of them distri...
July 2015
Porter Airlines Pays $150,000 for Alleged Violations of Canada's AntiSpam Legislation (CASL)
On June 29, 2015, Porter Airlines became the third Canadian company to pay a significant financial penalty under CASL, since the legislation came into force in July 2014. Earlier speculation over whether CASL would have any teeth sh...
November 2013
Supreme Court of Canada Declares Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act Unconstitutional
The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has declared the Alberta Personal Information Protection and Privacy Act (PIPA) unconstitutional in its entirety in the UFCW case 2013 SCC 62. This will have far-­reaching effects for organizations subject to ...
June 2013
Access to Information Laws: Three Reasons Why All Canadian Organizations Should Pay Attention
If your business or other organization is not subject to federal or provincial access to information legislation, you may not have thought much about how this legislation relates to your operations.However, there are three very good reasons why yo...
January 2012
A Potpourri of Access Orders: Practical Guidance in Responding to Access Requests
The Alberta Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has recently released several Orders relating to access to personal information pursuant to the Personal Information and Privacy Act (“PIPA”).Access to information is not o...
December 2012
Anti-Spam Legislation: A Work in Progress
At the end of 2010, Canada enacted strict anti­-spam legislation (the “Act”) relating to the sending of electronic messages, as well as to other aspects of online commercial activity. Implementation of the Act has been delayed by p...
December 2012
Privacy Breaches Can Be a One-Two Punch for Employers: Arbitrator Awards Damages for Employee Credit Checks that Breached Privacy Legislation
Twenty­-six employees of the Alberta Justice and Attorney General’s Maintenance Enforcement Program (“MEP”) were each awarded $1250.00 in damages each after a Peace Officer carrying out a workplace investigation used their pe...
July 2012
Alberta Privacy Commissioner Issues Report on Privacy Breaches
Alberta's new Privacy Commissioner, Jill Clayton, has released a report on the first two years of mandatory privacy breach reporting in Alberta (the "Breach Report").Under Alberta's private sector privacy law, the Personal Informatio...
June 2010
Employee Criminal Record Checks
Employers perform criminal record checks on current and prospective employees because of the nature of the employment, the vulnerability of customers or clients, or because of contractual or other industry requirements. Unlike many ...
Spring 2010
New - Changes to PIPA
July 2009
HIV/AIDS Reporting
The mandatory reporting of communicable diseases dates at least as far back as the Book of Leviticus, which described notification for a disease it labelled as leprosy.1  Current public health legislation, as well as recent amendmen...
Special Privacy Edition, Summer 2009
Current Workplace Issues - Video Surveillance
When can an employer use video surveillance in the workplace? Recent decisions and guidelines have addressed this thorny issue.Surreptitious Video Surveillance: Breach of the employment contract? In Colwell v. Cornerstone Properties, Ms. Colwell,...
Special Privacy Edition, Summer 2009
Biometric Technology in the Workplace:
Preventing "Buddy Punching"
Employers face many challenges in managing the attendance of their employees. Employers who use time card or swipe card systems to track the arrival and departure of their employees may also have to deal with the issue of “buddy punchin...
Special Privacy Edition, Summer 2009
You Raise the Issue - Promotion Assessment
Question:I am considering hiring a firm to implement a promotion assessment regime that would assess each candidate and provide insight into those who would excel in leadership positions. Can I require my employees applying for these position...

The following links are additional resources that may be useful:

Legislation

CASL, the Regulations, and the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement are available on the Government of Canada’s CASL webpage

General Information

Overview of CASL

Industry Canada Overview

CRTC Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletins

Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletin 2012-548: Guidelines on the interpretation of the Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations 

Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletin 2012-549: Guidelines on the use of toggling a means of obtaining express consent under Canada’s anti-spam legislation

Articles and Presentations

Kelly Nicholson, Before hitting ‘send’: The impact of Canada’s anti-spam law, Calgary Chamber of Commerce blog

Our experience is well illustrated through the clients we represent. Below please find a summary of some of our past and present clients:

  • In this area, we act for clients in the health care sector, the pharmaceutical industry, the construction sector, the oil and gas sector, educational institutions, professional associations and regulatory bodies and municipal organizations.
  • We represent clients in investigations, inquiries and mediations and in communications with the federal and provincial Privacy Commissioners.

Providing practical advice on the FOIPP Act

A public institution needed advice about its obligations under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPP Act). While the FOIPP Act can be complicated, Leanne helped break that complexity down by offering an opinion clearly setting out the public institution’s obligations and providing specific and practical recommendations to the public institution on how to meet those obligations.