What is PIPEDA and How Does it Apply to Condominiums?

PIPEDA is the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. It is federal privacy legislation. PIPEDA applies to most Canadian organizations involved in commercial activities (except organizations in provinces that have their own privacy laws similar to PIPEDA).

Among other things, PIPEDA says that organizations that collect persons’ personal information cannot use or disclose that information except with consent of the person in question or as permitted by specific exceptions set out in PIPEDA. This is of interest to condominium corporations because condominium corporations gather personal information – particularly relating to owners and occupants of the units.

That said, Canada’s privacy commissioner has confirmed that condominium corporations have the right to gather and use personal information (from owners or occupants) as required to fulfill the objects and duties of the condominium corporation.

This means that condominium owners and occupants cannot object to the condominium corporation fulfilling its objects and duties (as set out in the Condominium Act or the corporation’s Declaration, By-laws or Rules), even if the condominium corporation must use or disclose the personal information of owners or occupants in doing so.

Among other things, PIPEDA also states as follows:

  • Each organization must “designate an individual or individuals who are accountable for the organization’s compliance” with the principles expressed in PIPEDA. In other words, each organization is obligated to appoint a “privacy officer” who will oversee the organization’s compliance with PIPEDA. [In the case of a condominium corporation, it might often make sense for the property manager to be this “privacy officer” (assuming of course the manager agrees).]
  • Each organization must “implement policies and practices to give effect to the principles” in PIPEDA. [So, condominium corporations are obligated to have “privacy policies”, (which could also be passed as Rules, if desired).]