Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Corporate Surveillance and PIPEDA

 Privacy Legislation Fact Sheet
View the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's  Fact Sheet
for an overview of Canadian Privacy Legislation.

Understanding employee privacy rights during corporate surveillance will help you avoid breach of privacy accusations and litigation.

The Renwick Group provides corporate surveillance services and has a thorough understanding of Canadian privacy legislation. We have implemented a strict privacy policy to ensure we follow all legislative requirements and suggest all businesses do the same.

When building your privacy policy, be sure to have a comprehensive understanding of privacy legislation such as the Privacy Act and PIPEDA. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), enacted in 2000, has set rules for how private sector organizations may collect, use or disclose personal information in the course of commercial activities (Visit the Privacy Commission of Canada for more information).

Express or Implied Consent?

The basis of PIPEDA is built on the idea of “consent.” Whether express or implied, consent must always be present in respect of any collection, use or disclosure of personal information, though there are some exceptions.

Express consent is difficult to obtain in a litigation context and may be an exception to consent laws. Express consent should still be obtained when seeking disclosure of personal information from a non-party to litigation.

Implied consent is the most prevalent form of consent, especially in the litigation context. Most organizations rely on this type of consent for collection, use and disclosure of personal information in a wide range of litigation activities, including settlement negotiations. Implied consent is limited to what a reasonable person would deem appropriate and does not authorize unlimited or inappropriate collection, use or disclosure of an individual’s personal information.

Exceptions to Consent

Section 7 of PIPEDA is relevant in litigation as it applies to exceptions from implied and express consent. The Privacy Commission of Canada lists the following as relevant sections of PIPEDA in a litigation context:

  •  Collection without consent is permitted under paragraph 7(1)(b) where it is reasonable to expect that: 
    • the collection with the knowledge and consent of the individual would compromise the availability or accuracy of the information; and 
    • the collection is reasonable for purposes related to investigating a breach of an agreement or a contravention of the laws of Canada or a province, including the common law. 
  • Use without consent is permitted under paragraph 7(2)(d) where the information was collected under paragraph 7(1)(b) above; and 
  • Disclosure without consent is permitted by one of the exceptions listed under subsection 7(3), including the following: 
    • for the purpose of collecting a debt owed by the individual,
    • where required to comply with a subpoena, warrant or order, or to comply with rules of court relating to the production of records, or,
    • when made to an investigative body on reasonable grounds to believe that the personal information relates to a breach of an agreement or a contravention of the laws of Canada or of a province or a foreign jurisdiction. 
Understanding legislative requirements and clearly outlining your privacy policy is an important step in preventing accusations of unlawful use or collection of personal information.

The Renwick Group has experience working with many different types of businesses and organizations providing skip-tracing, fraud investigations, WSIB support, legal team assistance, evidence gathering, employee background checks, and more. We also work with individuals who need help with personal matters. Call us at 1 (888) 722-9807 or visit our website for information.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Identify Falsified Resumés Before a Background Check

Background checks are the most effective way to identify potential problems prior to hiring a new employee.

More than 40% of resumés contain false or tweaked information!

While a background check will identify issues such as addictions, poor credit and criminal activity, they are typically conducted near the end of the hiring process. You can screen your stack of resumés to identify false information and inconsistencies, allowing you to minimize the amount of interviews and subsequent background checks.

The most commonly falsified areas on a resumé include:

1. Employment History

2. Job Skills

3. Education Credentials

4. Salary and Job Title

Now that we have identified the main areas of embellishment, here are some things to look for to help you recognize false information:

1. Unexplained Gaps in Employment. This is the most obvious red flag. An unexplained gap could mean the job applicant has a history of being fired or leaving jobs often. You should also check to make sure dates of employment line-up during your reference checks.

2. Unusual Periods of Self-Employment. This is a tactic that can be used to fill gaps in employment. Candidates may have asked friends or family to act as clients and provide reference checks.

3. Reluctance to Explain a Reason for Leaving a Job. A job applicant who isn’t forthcoming with the reason for leaving a job most likely left on bad terms. Give them the opportunity to explain their reluctance – there may be a confidentiality or privacy issue that cannot be disclosed.

4. Minimal Details. Most resumés will include a job title, organization name and location, alongside a job description. A resumé lacking any of those details may indicate job history discrepancies.

5. Careful Wording or Self-Acclamation. Watch for misleading wording or omitted information. A bachelor’s degree that has no listed graduation date or an unfamiliar educational institution may indicate false information. In addition, self-acclamation's such as “award-winning” should be collaborated with credentials.

6. Unverifiable Information. Gaps on a resumé, job positions, self-employment. Most social media sites provide an opportunity to cross-check information for inconsistencies.

Following these tips should help you sift through job applications and create a short-list. From here, you can conduct interviews and background checks to ensure you’re making the correct hiring decision. Most importantly, remember to trust your instincts and if you think you’ve found the right candidate, give them the opportunity to discuss any issues you have found on their resumé.

The Renwick Group has experience working with many different types of businesses and organizations providing skip-tracing, fraud investigations, WSIB support, legal team assistance, evidence gathering, employee background checks, and more. We also work with individuals who need help with personal matters. Call us at 1 (888) 722-9807 or visit our website for more contact information.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Making a Hiring Decision? Get a Background Check!

One of the services we conduct for businesses of all sizes, is employment background checks or pre-employment checks.

If you're making a hiring decision soon, this is something you should think about.

The cost of hiring the wrong employee can be huge. If the employee has problems that don't show up on the resume, like addictions, credit issues, criminal activity, these may come back to haunt you and create all kinds of HR problems in the future.

A background check can identify potential problems and may help in the decision making process. It is estimated that over 40% of resumes contain false or tweaked information.  Did the potential hire really graduate from the college indicated or worked at the previous employer as stated?

Some types of data may require the new hire to approve the release of information. Depending on the position a police records check may be necessary.

Here are some Do's and Don'ts For Employment Background Checks

1.) Do Be Broad - validate previous employment history, check references, check the internet, run a criminal record check

2.) Don't Break the Law - use a reputable firm to advise you on the type of information that can be checked without breaking privacy laws

3.) Do Be Consistent - apply the requirement for pre-employment screening to all short-listed candidates

4.) Don't Seek Only the Negative - background checks can be used to locate positives that can help you choose between well-qualified candidates

5.) Don't Try to do it all Online - Everything is not online! Much of the data that can be legally obtained is best accessed by a licensed firm.

The Renwick Group has experience working with many different types of businesses and organizations providing skip-tracing, fraud investigations, WSIB support, legal team assistance, evidence gathering, employee back-ground checks, and more. We also work with individuals who need help with personal matters. Call us at 1 (888) 722-9807   or visit our website for more contact information.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Need An Investigator? Why You Should Contact Us.

 The Renwick Group has a full range of investigative services to assist you with a business or personal issue; locating a missing person, skip tracing, background checks, legal services, strike and labour management services, surveillance for evidence and security.

These are important issues, issues that can impact a court decision, a hiring decision, or in the case of property and debit recovery a financial situation.

Generally after you've analyzed the problem you'll be ready for some professional advice and you need to find an organization that you can work with. It's not just about explaining the situation to the Investigation Agency, it's also about finding out about how the agency works, what they will deliver, and how comfortable you feel working with them.

Here's why you should give The Renwick Group a call.

Experience: We have years of experience solving both corporate and personal investigative issues. We draw on that experience to resolve your issues fast. We've worked in consultive roles from large corporations to small businesses, and with individuals (private citizens)

Professionalism: We're members of the Council of Private Investigators Ontario, Canadian Association of Special Investigation Units, Better Business Bureau, Local Chamber of Commerce. As member of the CPIO, we adhere to a strict code of ethics and conduct.

Easy to Talk to: Especially with personal investigations - it's sometimes difficult to bring an outsider up to speed on the issue. You'll find our staff very approachable and able to listen to your problem and identify options and recommendations for you.

Techniques: We have access to the latest technologies, databases, and equipment. Our investigative process included iSight Data Management, a client case software that ensures consistent and complete reporting.

Results: You want results delivered on-time, professional presented, from a reputable agency. We are experienced with reporting for legal matters, insurance, personal issues, HR departments, and other management groups.

The first step to the resolution of your investigative issue is to contact us so that we can set up a phone call or an appointment to learn more about your situation and how The Renwick Group can help.

Visit The Renwick Group's Contact Page to leave an email message or call us at 1 (888)722-9807