Your corporate Learning software contains sensitive information, user data, and other content that must be kept from prying eyes and online threats. It may seem counter-intuitive to choose a ‘cloud-based’ Learning Management System that stores everything online compared to a internally hosted software solution. However, most modern cloud-based Learning Management Systems have advanced safety protocols in place to ensure that your information is under virtual lock-and-key and cutting-edge authentication measures to restrict system access. There are many factors to consider though beyond finding a vendor that you prefer.
Many Canadian companies want to transition to the cloud for business data hosting and services, yet worry about data access and privacy. Both public and private sector organizations must follow government laws affecting the storage and use of personal information. Provincial governments also have privacy laws to protect customer data. Storing data outside of Canada brings additional challenges, namely a new set of rules and regulations.
Canada is strict when it comes to managing personal data and information as it respects to confidentiality. PIPEDA, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, protects consumer data across the country. Canadian provinces have additional regulations that sectors must follow. PIPEDA holds private organizations accountable for protecting information during transit and outsourcing. While information can cross borders, the Canadian business remains liable to any problems. Federal government institutions are subject to the country’s Privacy Act, which outlines how personal information is stored and collected. Now, there is a proposal that would prohibit classified data from leaving the country. Depending on where your company is located and what type of business you operate you may be unable to transfer data outside of Canada. To ensure your business complies with PIPEDA, let’s look at what this regulation really means:
- Transfer: When information is transferred for processing, it must only be used for the original purpose of the collection.
- Comparable Level of Protection: The third-party processor must provide an equivalent level of protection the data would have received if it remained with the Canadian company.
- Transparency: The organization must be transparent about their practices handling personal information. Organizations must tell customers that their data is sent elsewhere for processing, and state that personal information sent to another jurisdiction may still be accessed by Canadian law enforcement, courts, or national security personnel.
Once your data is transferred outside of Canada, it becomes subject to the laws of the country where the data is stored. For instance, if you send data to the U.S. for processing — or if you worked with a cloud vendor located in the U.S. — customers personal data would then be subject to U.S. law, and law enforcement agents in the U.S. could gain access to search data held by American service providers. Ensuring your software vendor has their servers located in Canada will protect this sensitive information from the US patriot Act. As you can imagine, this places a larger burden on the company. By keeping your companies data on Canadian servers, you simplify things. Canadian cloud providers have the knowledge and experience with the country’s privacy laws, so they’re in the best position to store data from public and private companies securely.
While it takes time to understand how PIPEDA and provincial regulations affect your business, it is ultimately in your best interests to understand these concepts. When you know the law, you can make smart decisions to mitigate your risk. You’ll also keep documents and personal information safe and secure in the cloud, which protects your reputation and instills customer confidence.
There are many factors to take into account when choosing a software partner but for Canadian Companies, be sure to understand the risks with cross-border services.
SET Safety proudly hosts our Software suite on Canadian Server
SET Safety and/ or the author is not responsible for the accuracy or validity of the above information.
SET Safety and/or the author does not accept liability for the reliability or completeness of the information presented. This article does not substitute legal or professional advice. The reader bears all responsibility to seek professional guidance on any information noted in this blog or related to the content of this blog.