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.
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.
The following links are additional resources that may be useful:
CASL, the Regulations, and the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement are available on the Government of Canada’s CASL webpage
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
Anne Côté, Anti-Spam Legislation: A Work in Progress
Anne Côté, Anti-Spam Legislation: Coming Soon to a Campus Near You?
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.