Add to clipboard  Print this page

Privacy in the News

Amendments to the Personal Information Protection Act

Amendments to Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act (the Act) came into force on May 1, 2010. One amendment effects collection, use and disclosure of dependants’ personal information.

Information Sheet 10: Personal Information, published by Service Alberta states:

The new section 8(2.2) provides for situations where one individual applies for an insurance policy or a pension or benefit plan that covers several individuals, such as the applicant’s family members. Section 8(2.2) states that an individual who is a beneficiary of an insurance policy or a pension or benefit plan, but is not the applicant for the policy or plan, is deemed to consent to the collection, use or disclosure of his or her personal information for the purpose of enrolment or coverage under the policy or plan. For example, if a husband applies for life insurance and designates his wife as his beneficiary, the wife is deemed to consent to the collection, use and disclosure of her personal information as required to administer the policy.
Where consent is deemed under section 8(2.2), the organization collecting the personal information is not required to give notice to the individual.

This change enables ASEBP to provide more efficient service to its covered members and their dependants; to provide information when it is required, without delay. For example, ASEBP can provide information to a covered member about her spouse’s physiotherapy claims to determine if he has reached the calendar year maximum without obtaining verbal or written consent from her husband as previously required.

Express consent is still required where collection, use or disclosure of personal information is required for purposes other than enrolment in or coverage under the plan. For example, written consent is required for ASEBP to disclose a dependant’s Extended Health Care claim utilization history to a lawyer for use in a legal action arising from a motor vehicle accident.

To read about this or other changes to the Act, click here.

Your Personal Information and the USA PATRIOT Act

Canadians' personal information is often stored in the USA. We often provide it ourselves via online shopping transactions or by patronizing U.S. businesses with locations in Canada. Our personal information may also be sent to the U.S. because a Canadian organization that we’re involved with uses a service provider located in the U.S. Should you be concerned that your personal information could be accessed under the USA PATRIOT Act? The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat has put together a list of frequently asked questions that provides some great information.