Monday, March 5, 2012

How does privacy in the workplace affect the employer and the employee?

Most of us are aware of PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection of Electronic Data Act). The Act put into place in 2000 to assist consumers to trust electronic transfer of their personal information; such as medical and health issues, credit card information, social insurance numbers and Ontario health information and medical care numbers.  Fraud in the use of our medical system was rampant as information numbers were stolen and there was no identification necessary at that time.

Things have changed drastically since then.  Has fraud stopped?  Well, no...  Usually as soon as a new rule comes into place some genius has already found a way to use it or abuse it.

However, when it comes to the employer, you have a duty to protect your employee's information and keep it confidential.  What about those 3rd party phone calls that ask you if so and so works for you and is this how much they make?  There is an easy way to take care of that situation.  Make a policy that asks each employee to fill out a request form for a certain company to ask about their employment information and have it active for a certain time period.  This way you do not have to comprise any information without your employee's consent and the employee can have their information verified quickly and painlessly.

Most financial institutions are happy to have a pay stub from the employer and if they know you - your word on how long you have been employed by that company.

It is very important that all employee information is kept confidential and not given to anyone without the employee's consent.

Something that even small businesses may want to consider - what are you doing with your computer/blackberry smart-phone backups.  If you are wondering exactly what this refers to you could be looking at a lot of hassle down the road.  Most individuals don't even know that they are able to backup their phones.  And many businesses only have their client and employee information on one computer.  If anything happens to that computer - well, let's just say copy the information on your computer to a flash drive, SD card, digital backup hard drive, etc.  Protect yourself, your business, your employees and your clients.

Be smart - not burnt!

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