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Canada Background Checks
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The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is a national federal privacy law in Canada. This law governs the collection, use and disclosure of personal information in Canada. (British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec have additional privacy laws.)
In order to remain in compliance with Canada's privacy laws, you must be sure to take the following factors into consideration. First, the information you are collecting, using and disclosing must be done so for an appropriate and "reasonable" purpose. Be sure that you are collecting only the information that is needed to complete the check on an individual and nothing more that is not necessary. How can you check to be sure you are meeting this "reasonableness" requirement? Make sure that you are collecting this information for a specific need (such as a background check). You should be able to prove that without collecting the personal information you are unable to meet that need and that there is no other option available without the personal information. You should also be able to prove that despite the fact that the individual had to provide personal information to you and may have lost a bit of their privacy, the benefit of collecting this information far outweighs the cost.
Canadian privacy laws also require that you obtain written consent from the individual you are completing a check on before the check is initiated. Please note that for subjects living in the Province of Quebec, consent forms must be available in both English and French. When obtaining consent from the individual you should be clear and up front with them regarding what the information is going to be used for.
Once you have obtained the personal information and consent from the individual it is very important that the information collected be kept is a safe and secure location. The personal information should not have the opportunity to be leaked to individuals who do not have the need or authority to have access to it. Once you have obtained the background check and no longer have a need for the personal information provided it should be destroyed.
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