Alberta's Personal Information Protection Act

Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) was introduced on January 1, 2004, to govern the handling of personal information by organizations in Alberta. The Act tries to balance the individual’s right to have his or her personal information protected with the organization’s need to collect, use and disclose this information for legitimate and reasonable purposes.

The Act only applies on a limited basis to certain non-profit organizations including those established under the Societies Act, the Agricultural Societies Act, or organizations registered under part 9 of the Companies Act (charities). For these organizations, the Act only applies to personal information that is collected, used or disclosed as part of a commercial activity. You can refer to the Service Alberta information sheet for nonprofit organizations to assess if your organization’s activities fall under the definition of “commercial” and fall under the Act.

Even if your activities do not fall under the Act, given public expectations for the secure handling of personal information, it is up to individual organizations in the nonprofit sector to ensure their practices ensure appropriate standards of personal information protection.

Visit Service Alberta online for tools, checklists and resources to help you ensure you are protecting the personal information of your clients, donors, employees, volunteers and others.


Background - Proposed Changes to PIPA Not Passed

In 2007, as part of a routine legislative review, it was recommended that PIPA be amended to apply fully to all nonprofit organizations. Following work by CCVO and other organizations from across the province to share concerns about the implications of this change, the amendment did not go forward.