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    Saskatchewan OIPC Sides with Employer in Computer Monitoring

    Aug 10, 2016

    A Saskatchewan provincial power company did not violate an employee’s reasonable expectation of privacy and acted within the law to collect personal information from the employee’s work computer, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) found in an investigative report released on July 11.

    According to the summary of the report, SaskPower International Inc. “collected an employee’s personal information by conducting a forensic investigation on the employee’s work computer. The now former employee alleged that SaskPower breached his privacy by collecting his personal information from his workstation. The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner found that while employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the workplace, section 25 [of the provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP)] authorized SaskPower to collect the former employee’s personal information.”

    The OIPC report notes that employers must have a reasonable basis for believing that an employee’s use of IT assets may be non-compliant with workplace policies and standards prior to initiating a forensic investigation into an employee’s work computer. For that reason, it recommends SaskPower update its system access agreement to include statements that use of the system may be monitored if the user is suspected of violating policies and standards and that any collection, use, and/or disclosure of personal information would be done in compliance with FOIP.

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