No Right To Audio Recording Or Customer Service Representative’s Name: OPC Guidance On Access Rights

by Dentons
Contact

On December 13, 2012, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released Report of Findings #2012-004 (August 22, 2012) relating to the unauthorized disclosure to an imposter of a cell phone customer’s account information. In addition, the Report of Findings addresses the scope of an individual’s access rights under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). It is this aspect of the decision that is the subject of this post.

PIPEDA Access Rights

Principle 4.9 of Schedule 1 to PIPEDA provides that “an individual shall be informed of the existence, use, and disclosure of his or her personal information and shall be given access to that information”. Subsection 8(1) of PIPEDA requires that a request for access be made in writing. Pursuant to subsection 8(3) of PIPEDA, an organization must respond to the request within 30 days subject to certain exceptions. Notwithstanding an individual’s access right under Principle 4.9, an organization is prohibited under section 9(1) of PIPEDA from providing an individual access if it would reveal information about a third party. If the information about the third party can be severed, the organization should follow that procedure in providing access.

No Obligation to Provide Access in a Particular Medium

In Report of Findings #2012-004, the complainant sought a copy of the recording between the imposter and the customer service representative. The organization offered to permit the complainant an opportunity to listen to the recording at the company’s premises. The organization also provided a transcript of the call and deleted the customer service representative’s name. The complainant did not take up the offer to listen to the recording and complained to the OPC regarding the completeness of the transcript.

The OPC concluded as follows:

[35] Regarding the redactions that the company had made from the call transcript that it provided the complainant, we have reviewed those redactions and find them to be in compliance with subsection 9(1) of the Act, which requires an organization to sever personal information about a third party before allowing an individual access to their own personal information. The information redacted from the transcript (i.e., the CSR’s name) belongs to a third party.

[36] As for the issue raised by the complainant that he was not provided with an audio recording of the conversation which took place between the imposter and the CSR, the Act provides individuals with the right to access their personal information. The Act does not, however, require an organization to provide access in a particular medium. Only under section 10 of the Act must an organization give access to personal information in an “alternative format” to an individual with a sensory disability and who requests that their personal information be transmitted in the alternative format. The complainant’s case does not fall within these circumstances. Rather, the company did provide the complainant with the call transcript containing the personal information, and to which he was entitled under the Act. It is, therefore, not required to further provide him with a copy of the recording.

It should be noted that the OPC did not state that a transcript would always suffice. The organization provided the complainant with the opportunity to listen to the recording. A recording of a voice contains more information about the person than what would appear on a transcript. The OPC might conclude that an individual may have a right to listen to the audio recording. Factors that the OPC might consider to be relevant may include whether there is third party information in the recording that cannot be severed without significant and disproportionate cost.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Dentons | Attorney Advertising

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.
Feedback? Tell us what you think of the new jdsupra.com!