Beyond the Privacy Policy: New Guidance

by Dentons
Contact

[author: ]

On September 5, 2012, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (“IPC”) released a new guidance paper, entitled “A Policy is Not Enough: It Must be Reflected in Concrete Practices”. This guidance paper will be particularly useful for organizations seeking preliminary guidance on implementing the “privacy by design” principles developed by Commissioner Cavoukian.

The IPC outlines 7-steps for implementing privacy policies. Sensibly, the Commissioner acknowledges that there are no “one-size-fits-all” approaches for embedding privacy-by-design practices. Nevertheless, Commissioner Cavoukian notes that there are are common steps to implementing a course of action. These steps are applicable to organizations of all sizes and complexity.

The following is a brief run-down on the steps and a few comments from my experience:

Step One: The organization should develop and implement a privacy policy that is compliant with privacy laws and is tailored to the needs and risks of the organization. As the Commissioner notes, “a generic policy, which does not consider the particular challenges of a given organization” is “not sufficient.”

Too often, organizations simply copy the basic privacy principles from applicable privacy legislation without attempting to describe those principles in a concrete way in their organizational environment. The IPC recommends that if the organization deals with sensitive data, the organization should conduct a privacy impact assessment (“PIA”). Arguably, however, a PIA is useful whenever the organization is developing or revising a privacy policy or engaging in a new initiative. From my perspective, the PIA is particularly useful in (a) identifying practices that may create legal risks regarding an organization’s data governance practices, (b) organizing conversations about the extent of collection, use and retention of personal information that is necessary to the success of particular initiatives, (c) identifying stakeholders within the organization that should be accountable for the protection of personal information collected and used in connection with the initiative, and (d) assessing the administrative, technical and physical procedures necessary to provide adequate protection of that personal information.

The development of an organization’s privacy policy is not a “one-time” event. The IPC recommends at a minimum an annual review to determine the evolving legal and industry practice environment as well as whether there privacy policy of the organization the procedures of the organization are consistent.

Step Two: The organization should link each policy item to a specific action item. For example, if a privacy policy provides that personal information will not be transferred in an unencrypted form over the Internet, then the organization must consider how to implement that policy to prevent data transfers that are not encrypted. This may mean changes to the IT infrastructure to ensure encryption by default.

Step Three: The organization should establish how the organization will demonstrate that the action items have been implemented. Commissioner Cavoukian notes that effective change requires “buy in” from senior management and the demonstrable adherence to the policy by those who are accountable for the action item.

Step Four: The organization should develop an education and awareness training program that is tailored to the working environment of the organization both in structure and content. Initial training for employees on the organization’s privacy practices is critical, but so is on-going education and awareness so that the organizations privacy practices are integrated into the employee’s duties. The IPC recommends at least annual refreshers or certifications. There are diverse methods of education and awareness training. However, to be effective, they must be directly relevant to the employee’s duties.

Step Five: The Commissioner recommends the designation of a “Go to” person. Employees should have a person that can address privacy concerns raised by employees and to assist them in assessing the implications of particular privacy practices.

Step Six: Organizations must audit compliance: “Trust, but verify”. An organization should have a policy on the types of compliance audits that will be conducted and the procedures for those audits. The audit process should be documented.

Step Seven: The last step is to prepare for a privacy breach. Too often organizations are unprepared to handle a serious privacy breach. The Commissioner states that “[i]t is increasingly important that organizations of all sizes be prepare to react to data security incidents”. An organization should have a data breach protocol so that the organization is able to react quickly and effectively. Privacy breach protocols assist in identifying the initial steps and persons accountable for reporting the breach, containing the breach, notifying affected individuals, investigating the causes and recommending remediation actions.

 

Written by:

Dentons
Contact
more
less

Dentons on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.