The federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act ("PIPED Act") will come into effect as of January 1, 2004 in all provinces that have not already passed substantially similar legislation. Quebec, B.C., and Alberta are the only provinces to have introduced their own legislation governing data protection in the private sector. The PIPED Act has been in effect since Jan.1, 2001, but applicable only in federally regulated sectors such as banks, airlines and telecommunications, and interprovincial dealings. It requires, among other things, that businesses obtain the knowledge and consent of individuals to any collection, use or disclosure of their personal information, other than as specifically permitted under the Act. Individuals can complain to the Privacy Commissioner if they feel that an organization has infringed their privacy rights under the Act. Privacy Commissioner of Canada website.