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In the business world, it is unethical for an employee to share clients’ personal information, unless, the client has agreed in writing to this sharing of information. In Canada, the law that protects clients against illegal sharing of their personal information by businesses is stipulated in the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Below is a response to a friend’s e-mail, denying him his request to share a database of subscriber names and addresses. The memo will enlighten him more about the PIPEDA’s provisions, and business ethics, which he should observe concerning clients’ personal information.
I am writing this in response to your earlier e-mail requesting me to share my database of subscribers’ names and addresses. Please note that, the law prohibits businesses from sharing their clients’ personal information with outsiders. The act of sharing clients’ personal information is applicable, only when a client has given his/her consent to such sharing in writing. I would like to bring to your attention that, in Canada, the Personal Information Protection, and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) protects clients against sharing of their personal information by businesses.
I recently attended a PIPEDA seminar, and I would like to enlighten you what the act states concerning clients’ personal information. The act provides that, all businesses should store their clients’ personal information safely, to avoid disclosure of such information to outsiders. Businesses are required to store such information in password-protected database, which should only to be accessed by authorized personnel. In case a business deems it necessary to share its client(s) personal information, such a business should seek approval from the concerned client(s). Such approval should be in writing, and at no single time, should a business use force or entice a client to give his/her consent concerning sharing of his/her personal information with outsiders. A client should be allowed to give his/her consent voluntarily. Failure to observe the provisions of PIPEDA attracts severe penalties to a business or a business’s personnel concerned. These penalties may range from monetary compensations to clients, jail term for individual(s) concerned, to deregistration of a business from operation.
Moreover, our business expects all employees to observe business ethics regarding sharing our clients’ information with outsiders. It would be unethical for me to share my database of subscriber names and addresses with you. I am a law-abiding citizen and I observe the provisions of PIPEDA. Furthermore, I would be going against the principles of my business, as well as my personal ethics, if I agree to share subscribers’ personal information with you.
I hope this memo will be of importance to you, and I hope you will also observe the aforementioned provisions of PIPEDA. Feel free to contact me for further clarifications concerning sharing of clients’ personal information. Thank you.