Canada celebrates Privacy Awareness Week by helping businesses improve privacy practices



    OTTAWA, Aug. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of
Canada (OPC) today launched a new tool to help businesses evaluate their
privacy practices and compliance with Canada's private sector privacy law. The
launch of the tool coincides with Privacy Awareness Week, which is organized
by the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) and runs from August 24 to 30.
    The OPC's new Personal Information Protection and Electronics Documents
Act (PIPEDA) Self-Assessment Tool is made up of two parts:

    
    - A compliance guide, which informs organizations of their obligations
      under PIPEDA and outlines what organizations must do to meet these
      obligations; and
    - A diagnostic tool, which gives organizations a series of checklists
      they can use to assess how compliant they are with the 10 Fair
      Information Principles of PIPEDA.
    

    With the results of this self-assessment, organizations will be able
determine the weaknesses in their privacy systems and understand the risks
they pose for the business and customers. It will also help them ensure they
dedicate the appropriate resources to ensuring privacy compliance.
    "Good privacy practices are good for business," says Privacy Commissioner
of Canada, Jennifer Stoddart. "More and more, organizations are realizing
this, and by giving them an efficient and effective means of evaluating and
improving their privacy practices, they can develop a competitive advantage."
    The theme for this year's Privacy Awareness Week is "Privacy is your
business". During the week participating countries, such as Canada, which is a
member of APPA, can promote privacy responsibilities within the public and
private sectors, and raise awareness of the public's privacy rights.
    The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada recently launched two
initiatives aimed at engaging Canadian youth in the privacy debate: an essay
competition designed to encourage students in law schools and legal studies
programs across Canada to explore privacy issues and a video public service
announcement competition for students between the ages of 12 and 18.
Information about these initiatives and the new PIPEDA Self-Assessment Tool,
as well as other tools to help organizations comply with privacy law, such as
a guide for businesses and organizations, an e-learning tool for retailers,
fact sheets and a number of new case summaries, can be found at
www.privcom.gc.ca.

    For more information on Privacy Awareness Week, visit
www.privacyawarenessweek.org.

    The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is mandated by
Parliament to act as an ombudsman, advocate and guardian of privacy rights in
Canada.




For further information:

For further information: and/or media interview requests: Heather
Ormerod, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, (613) 995-1048,
hormerod@privcom.gc.ca


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