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D&B Canada and Privacy Legislation Questions & Answers


As of January 1, 2004, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act ("PIPEDA") will regulate the collection, use and disclosure of personal information in the course of commercial activities. PIPEDA and other pending and existing provincial privacy legislation generally impose two types of obligations: (1) the obligation to obtain prior knowledge and consent to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, and (2) various administrative obligations with respect to that personal information. The purpose of this summary is to outline how the consent obligations of PIPEDA and the provincial legislation apply to D&B Canada and how D&B Canada is complying with those obligations.

What is "Personal Information"?


"Personal Information" is defined similarly under PIPEDA, the legislation in British Columbia, pending legislation in Alberta and under existing Quebec legislation. In brief, "Personal Information" is " information about an identifiable individual" or "information that relates to a natural person and allows that person to be identified."

How does this privacy legislation affect the information you obtain from and/or provide to D&B Canada?


The vast majority of information a company provides to and/or obtains from us is information pertaining to a business and thus does not constitute Personal Information. As such, privacy legislation does not apply to such information whether it be in respect of a corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship. Generally, the legislation requires that those who collect, use and disclose Personal Information obtain an individual's consent before collecting, using and/or disclosing Personal Information, unless an exemption applies. Therefore, with respect to the information that is provided to and/or obtain from D&B Canada that may be characterized as Personal Information, there are 3 exemptions from the consent requirement which are particularly relevant to the operations of D&B Canada: publicly available information, business contact information, and employee personal information.

Publicly available information


D&B Canada periodically discloses to you information from public record sources about the individuals who act as officers and/or directors of businesses on which D&B Canada reports. D&B Canada does not report public record information on an individual if it does not bear on that individual's ability or capacity for operating the business. In most cases, D&B Canada is permitted to report this information without obtaining the consent of the individual.

Business Contact Information


D&B Canada, as a commercial business information company, collects from and/or provides to you the business contact information of the individuals who act as officers and/or directors of businesses listed in the D&B Canada database. D&B Canada is not required to obtain the consent of the individual before collecting, using or disclosing that information.

Employee personal information


D&B Canada collects from you and/or discloses to you information about individuals who act as officers and/or directors of businesses. Such officers, and in some cases directors, are considered to be employees. Under PIPEDA, D&B Canada is not required to obtain the consent of the individual before collecting, using or disclosing that information, because employee personal information - other than the personal information of employees of a federal work, undertaking or business - is not regulated by PIPEDA. In British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec, however, while there is an exemption for the collection, use and disclosure of employee personal information, in certain circumstances, that exemption may not be available. In such cases, consent will be obtained.

Consent Obtained


In rare circumstances, you will be providing to us and/or we will be disclosing to you Personal Information to which the above exemptions do not apply. In such circumstances, we will collect Personal Information only from your authorized representative who has the necessary consent to permit the disclosure of such information in accordance with applicable privacy legislation.

Can you supply trade/payment information to us?


As trade/payment information is information which relates to a business and is not information about an identifiable individual, the privacy legislation does not apply and you may continue to provide us with such information whether it be in respect of a corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship.

What are customers required to do?


D&B Canada endeavors to ensure that it complies with all laws, rules and regulations governing the collection, use or disclosure of information, including personal information. As such and as described above, D&B Canada has taken the necessary measures to permit you to continue to provide us with information in compliance with applicable privacy legislation.

Who do I contact if I need more information?


Obviously, D&B Canada cannot provide legal advice to customers. Legal information should be sought from the customer's own legal counsel. General questions, however, should be directed to Paul Lavin, Chief Privacy Officer, at (905) 568-5885.