The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) (the Act) is a Canadian law relating to
data privacy. It governs how private sector organizations collect, use and disclose personal information in the
course of commercial business. In addition, the Act contains various provisions to facilitate the use of electronic
documents. PIPEDA became law on 13 April 2000 to promote consumer trust in electronic commerce. The act was also
intended to reassure the European Union that the Canadian privacy law was adequate to protect the personal
information of European citizens. In accordance with section 29 of PIPEDA, Part I of the Act ("Protection of
Personal Information in the Private Sector") must be reviewed by Parliament every five years. The first
Parliamentary review occurred in 2007.
PIPEDA incorporates and makes mandatory provisions of the Canadian Standards Association's Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information, developed in 1995. However, there are a number of exceptions to the Code where information can be collected, used and disclosed without the consent of the individual. Examples include reasons of national security, international affairs, and emergencies. Under the Act, personal information can also be disclosed without knowledge or consent to investigations related to law enforcement, whether federal, provincial or foreign. There are also exceptions to the general rule that an individual shall be given access to his or her personal information. Exceptions may include information that would likely reveal personal information about a third party, information that cannot be disclosed for certain legal, security, or commercial proprietary reasons, and information that is subject to solicitor-client privilege.
Freedom of Information laws (FOI laws by country) allow access by the general public to data held by national governments. The emergence of freedom of information legislation was a response to increasing dissatisfaction with the secrecy surrounding government policy development and decision making. They establish a "right-to-know" legal process by which requests may be made for government-held information, to be received freely or at minimal cost, barring standard exceptions. Also variously referred to as open records, or sunshine laws (in the United States), governments are typically bound by a duty to publish and promote openness. In many countries there are constitutional guarantees for the right of access to information, but these are usually unused if specific support legislation does not exist.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.
Intellectual freedom encompasses the freedom to hold, receive and disseminate ideas without restriction. Viewed as an integral component of a democratic society, intellectual freedom protects an individual's right to access, explore, consider, and express ideas and information as the basis for a self-governing, well-informed citizenry. Intellectual freedom comprises the bedrock for freedoms of expression, speech, and the press and relates to freedoms of information and privacy.
The United Nations upholds intellectual freedom as a basic human right through Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which asserts:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
The institution of libraries in particular values intellectual freedom as part of their mission to provide and protect access to information and ideas. The American Library Association (ALA) defines intellectual freedom as "the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement can be explored."
The modern concept of intellectual freedom developed out of an opposition to book censorship. It is promoted by several professions and movements. These entities include, among others, librarianship, education, and the Free Software Movement.
This page was last updated June 16th, 2018 by kim
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