Most of the owners in our condo have access to email. When we moved in, we gave the corporation our email address. Now, the Board is refusing to give out owners’ email addresses for us to communicate with each other. This is not right. After all, we are all neighbours. What do you think the Board should do?
I am not a lawyer as you know, but I think your Board is correct in this case. Privacy legislation allows the collection of personal information that is necessary to conduct the business affairs of the corporation. The law requires the corporation to keep this information safe and secure, unless it has your specific permission and that you know the purpose of the disclosure. Granted, some information is already public, your address and telephone number for example. Disclosing the latter would not be a breach of legislation. Disclosure of other information that is not public is different. You most likely pay for your monthly condo fees through automatic deductions from your bank account. You provided the organization with your banking information. I am sure that you would not want this information readily available to your neighbours. In the same manner, your email address is not available publicly and I assume that you provided it to the corporation for the effective distribution of information of condo matters, not to exchange recipes, travel plans or community gossip. Some condominium communities have established a Facebook page separate and independent from the corporation for the purpose of friendly exchange. The site is restricted to condo owners/residents and monitored by the site administrator. Members are free to join. If you want to keep in contact with other owners, ask them if they would share their email address with you. Until such time as email addresses are made available like phone numbers today, the Board is wise to err on the side of caution.