Protection and Use of Identifiable Personal Information

An important part of the compliance program for any company is a set of programs and procedures relating to collection, storage, use and destruction of identifiable personal information of its employees, customers and other business partners.  Steps to be taken should include the following:

  1. Identify the disclosure requirements applicable to the company with respect to collection and use of personal information and establish procedures to ensure that the company complies with such requirements.
  2. Identify the personal information that will be collected by the company and the manner in which such information will be collected.  The company should take steps to limit the amount of personal information that it collects to that which is strictly necessary for the company to fulfill its obligations to the party from whom such information is collected.
  3. Determine how the company intends to use the personal information it collects, including the parties who may have access to such information.  With respect to internal users of such information, care must be taken to train those users in data security.  With respect to external users of such information, the knowing consent of the party providing the information must be obtained and each external user must agree to receive and use such information in a manner that is consistent with maintaining the security of the information.
  4. Identify the options must be made available to providers of personal information with respect to the use and disclosure of such information and make sure that they are provided with a reasonable opportunity to direct how their information may be used.
  5. Implement procedures for allowing providers of personal information to review and, if necessary, correct such information.

The content in this post has been adapted from material that will appear in California Transactions Forms: Business Transactions (Fall 2008) and is presented with permission of Thomson/West.  Copyright 2008 Thomson/West.  For more information or to order call 1-800-762-5272.

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