Overview

The Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) is Alberta’s private sector privacy law.

PIPA applies to provincially regulated private sector organizations, businesses and, in some instances, to non-profit organizations for the protection of personal information and to provide a right of access to an individual’s personal information.

Organizations that are subject to PIPA must develop and follow policies that are reasonable to meet its obligations under the Act.

When PIPA refers to any thing or any matter as 'reasonable,' it is that which a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances.

For public bodies, such as government departments and municipalities, please see the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act website.

For more information about how PIPA relates to personal information, see:

Legislation history

PIPA

PIPA was introduced in the Alberta Legislature as Bill 44 on May 14, 2003 and came into effect on January 1, 2004. PIPA has been amended by the following statutes (in chronological order of date of enactment):

  • Personal Information Protection Amendment Act, S.A. 2005, c. 29 (effective June 2, 2005)
  • Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act 2008, c.A-4.2 (effective October 30, 2009)
  • Personal Information Protection Amendment Act, S.A. 2009, c. 50 (effective May 1, 2010)
  • Personal Information Protection Amendment Act, S.A. 2014, c. 14 (effective December 17, 2014)

PIPA Regulation

The Personal Information Protection Act Regulation has been amended by the following statutes and regulations (in chronological order of date of enactment):

  • Miscellaneous Correction Regulation (A.R. 108/2004), s. 27 (effective June 9, 2004)
  • Personal Information Protection Act Amendment Regulation (A.R. 51/2010) (effective May 1, 2010)

2015 Review

The next review of PIPA began July 1, 2015. The Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future was designated the Special Committee for review of PIPA. The committee presented its recommendations to the Legislative Assembly in September 2016 (PDF, 1.1 MB).

2014 Amendments

Bill 3, the Personal Information Protection Amendment Act was introduced in the Legislature November 18, 2014. This Act amends PIPA to allow a trade union to collect, use and disclose personal information without consent to inform or persuade the public about a matter of significant public interest or importance about a labour relations dispute. The amendments received Royal Assent on December 17, 2014 and came into effect immediately.

For more information, see the Non-profits and other organizations section on Protecting personal information.

Earlier Amendments

On May 16, 2006, the Legislative Assembly of Alberta appointed an all-party Select Special Committee to review PIPA. Albertans were invited to participate in the review. The committee submitted its final report on November 14, 2007. In response the Government of Alberta introduced Bill 54, the Personal Information Protection Amendment Act on October 27, 2009.

Reference material

Personal Information Protection Act, 2009

  • Overview of the 2009 amendments to the Act and Regulation.

Protection of Personal Information Held by the Private Sector (2002)

  • A consultation between the Government of Alberta and Albertans and Alberta businesses informed the early development of PIPA.

Contact

To connect with the FOIP-PIPA Help Desk:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-5848
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: sa.accessandprivacy@gov.ab.ca