Privacy & Access to Information
Goldblatt Partners provides legal advice and representation in a wide range of privacy and access to information matters, relating to both the public and private sectors. In addition to providing advice and assistance to our clients in protecting and advancing their privacy rights, we have extensive experience in the law and practice governing freedom of information requests for records held by government institutions.
We have particular experience in relation to privacy issues in the employment context. As Canadian employers are coming to rely increasingly on technology to manage the workplace, protecting the privacy rights of employees is becoming more and more complex. While employers need basic information about their employees in order, for example, to meet their payroll and benefit obligations and to be able to ensure that work is being done efficiently and safely, the possibilities for infringing on privacy are greater than ever before. Psychological tests, web-browsing records, video surveillance, keystroke monitoring, genetic testing: the kind of information an employer might seek about employees is limitless. At the same time, there is an increasing range of legal tools available to protect employee privacy, including complaints under privacy-protecting legislation, tort action, and greater protections negotiated through collective bargaining.
Our experience includes:
- Representing individuals, unions and organizations in privacy and access to information matters before administrative tribunals and courts
- Advising with respect to the application of various privacy-protecting statutes, including FIPPA, MFIPPA, PHIPA and PIPEDA, as well as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- Advising unions and individuals regarding employer privacy obligations
- Litigating matters relating to privacy breaches in the public sector or private sector
- Drafting and negotiating collective agreement language to improve employee privacy protection
- Health information issues
- Drafting privacy policies for unions and other institutions
- Advising unions in respect of their own collection and use of member personal information, as well as compliance with privacy legislation
- Advising individual and union clients regarding freedom of information and privacy requests, including in support of other litigation or advocacy efforts
- Government improperly disregarded the direction of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
- Court: Financial records should not be released to a rival trade union
- Unions are entitled to personal contact information, says Supreme Court