To all Employment Insurance Board of Referees Chairs
Subject: Policy Change re: Privacy and Security of Personal Information
This is to advise you of a change in policy concerning pre-work on appeal decisions. Given the advances in technology, I need to ensure that all personal information held by the Government of Canada is adequately protected from unauthorized access to guarantee its confidentiality and integrity.
I am aware that a number of Chairpersons do some pre-work on appeal decisions by recording the parties, the issues and information from the appeal docket and provide this information to the Board assistant, either on a CD, floppy diskette or a USB drive (memory stick or jump drive), on the hearing day.
This is a reminder that this practice poses privacy and security concerns should the personal information inadvertently be lost, misplaced or stolen. To mitigate this risk, policy changes are necessary. Effective immediately, any pre-work recorded by Board Chairpersons or Board members must be limited to:
- identifying the issues and
- information from the appeal docket.
No personal identifiers are to be recorded; such as SIN or names. Parties will be referred to generally as "the claimant", "the appellant", "the employer" or "a witness". Cases need to be saved in a generic manner only, perhaps numbered as 1 to 6 chronologically based on the order on the cause list or using a case number, if one is assigned by the Board Assistant. Of course, the complete decision is not to be drafted in advance of the hearing.
At the end of the hearing day, all pre-work must be erased from the recording device and all appeal dockets are to be returned to the Board Assistant for shredding.
This policy change will be reflected in your training and reference materials soon. Meanwhile, please adhere to the new policy to ensure the security of the personal information in your possession.