I'm talking about personal private information and the workplace. There is an exception to disclosing private information without direct consent in cases such as Fred's accident. Human Resources or Payroll typically collect this information on hire. Exceptions to direct consent are typically written in to the regulations to allow for quick disclosure of this information, to Fred's "In Case of Emergency" (ICE) contacts.
"If a reasonable person would consider that it is clearly in the interest of the individual and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way (for instance, emergency contacts)" - A guide for Businesses and Organizations on the Personal Information Protection Act, Rev. November 2008 (p. 27)
Typically this information is kept on the employee file, and is collected in the first few days on the job. There are a few things to consider, however.
- Is there a plan in place (say, annually) to confirm and update the emergency contact information?
- Is there a contingency in place to access this information after hours?
- Do the supervisors know about this contingency plan?
- Is there continued protection of this information from unauthorized access?
Bob Brotchie has endorsed an ICE tag made in Canada that bypasses apps altogether and provides a durable tag that can be attached to a keychain, backpack, running shoe, or helmet. All that is included on the ICE tag is two contact names with phone numbers. Nothing else is disclosed. http://iceincaseofemergency.ca/
An employer may offer such a tag to employees who work off-site and after hours, that they could voluntarily manage and update as necessary. This eliminates the privacy, currency, housing, and accessibility concerns of the traditional emergency contact form maintained on the personnel file.
Federal Privacy Emergency Kit
Information Sheet No. 5: Personal Employee Information