Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP and the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA), Canada's leading national technology industry group, announced a new privacy initiative under which Gowlings will supply CATA members with a compliance guide for the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

Effective January 1, 2004, every Canadian business will have to comply with the federal privacy laws or similar provincial rules in provinces, some of which are expected to bring in their own legislation. Organizations will be required to protect the personal information of their customers, employees, members and others who have provided data. This includes putting into place policies and systems to manage the collection, use and dissemination of such personal information.

"CATA recognizes that privacy legislation is a serious issue facing its members" said John Reid, president and co-chair of CATA. "Many businesses have not even begun the process of figuring our how they collect and use information, and are not likely to be a position to comply unless they start the process soon", said Reid. "We are pleased to team with Gowlings, one of Canada's leading providers of legal services to the technology industry."

"Gowlings is committed to providing continuing support to our broadly based clientele in the Canadian technology sector," said Andrew Foti, who leads the firm's Technology National Practice Group in Ottawa. "We are pleased to support CATA in providing a privacy guide to assist its members in navigating this issue." Gowlings' privacy guide outlines how to set up an organization's privacy policy and systems and is available to CATA members through the privacy alert.

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