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Buying Condo and SIN 

mzansi
mzansi
Posts: 5


Posted On: 11/17/2015
mzansi
mzansi
Posts: 5
Hi,

Just a quick question from a recent landed PR - do I need to provide my SIN when buying a Condo? An agent is asking for it as proof of ID. Just sounds a bit odd.

Best
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Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3700


Posted On: 11/24/2015
Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3700
Hello,

Thank you for sharing your question with us.

You can find some detailed information regarding the use of your SIN and who can ask for your SIN on the Office of the Privacy Commissioner website.

Here is an excerpt,

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) sets out ground rules for how private sector organizations may collect, use or disclose personal information in the course of commercial activities.

Since January 1, 2001, the Act applied to personal information about customers or employees that is collected, used or disclosed by the federally-regulated sector in the course of commercial activities. It also applies to information that is sold across provincial and territorial boundaries. As of January 1, 2004, the Act covers the collection, use and disclosure of personal information in the course of any commercial activity within a province, including provincially-regulated organizations, except in provinces that have enacted legislation that is deemed to be substantially similar to the federal law.

Under the new law, organizations like banks, telecommunications companies and airlines cannot require you to consent to the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information unless it is required for a specific and legitimate purpose.

This means that unless an organization can demonstrate that your SIN is required by law, or that no alternative identifier would suffice to complete the transaction, you cannot be denied a product or service on the grounds of your refusal to provide your SIN.

If you disagree with a request for your SIN made by an organization that is subject to the PIPEDA, you can complain to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, who will investigate the complaint.


According to a representative at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the SIN is not used as a piece of or proof of ID. They stated that generally companies requesting it are involved in commercial activities and must identify the purpose of the collection of the SIN. You should feel free to ask the question related to the purpose of the collection of the SIN. If you do not find their reasons to be reasonable you may file a complaint with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada .

They also stated that large corporations must have a privacy officer and ensure that they are following privacy law.

It may be helpful to look at the condo developer's website to find out what their privacy policies are and how to contact their privacy officer.

You can send any questions or concerns to them or ask for clarification as well.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions and if there is any follow up to your question/situation.

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Anna
Settlement.Org Content and Information/Referral Specialist, CIRS
Settlement.Org
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