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Is my privacy protected?: Confidentiality and Insurance

Auto Insurance

By Joanne Lemna | June 8, 2017

Privacy is a big concern for many especially with the large-scale hacking of major companies. Luckily in Canada there are provincial and federal laws protecting the confidentiality of your personal information. There are also several insurance industry privacy standards that are followed when it comes to protecting the identity and information of our customers.

At the federal level there is the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) which sets the rules for how private companies collect use and disclose personal information. This only applies in provinces without substantially similar provincial laws. Find out more about PIPEDA here. Furthermore legislation such as the federal Bank Act for example contain provisions that regulate the use and disclosure of information by financial institutions a group in which insurance companies are included.

In Alberta PIPEDA is unnecessary as the province has the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). This legislation protects people’s personal information and also provides a right of access to their own information. Companies can only collect use and disclose data for reasonable purposes after being given consent. Consent can be verbal written or electronic and also includes information that is voluntarily given (known as implied consent). An individual can withdraw or change their consent as well. Companies are also required to protect personal information in the form of reasonable security measures including physical (such as locks) technological (passwords and encryption) administrative (confidentiality agreements and terms of use) and privacy breach protocols. They also must destroy information if there is no need for it. You can read more about PIPA here.

Confidentiality and privacy are taken very seriously in the insurance industry. If you have any questions or concerns talk to your broker.

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