Principle 2: Identifying Purposes
The purposes for which personal information is collected shall be identified by the organization at or before the time the information is collected.
The organization shall document the purposes for which personal information is collected in order to comply with the Openness principle (Clause 4.8) and the Individual Access principle (Clause 4.9).
Identifying the purposes for which personal information is collected at or before the time of collection allows organizations to determine the information they need to collect to fulfil these purposes. The Limiting Collection principle (Clause 4.4) requires an organization to collect only that information necessary for the purposes that have been identified.
The identified purposes should be specified at or before the time of collection to the individual from whom the personal information is collected. Depending upon the way in which the information is collected, this can be done orally or in writing. An application form, for example, may give notice of the purposes.
When personal information that has been collected is to be used for a purpose not previously identified, the new purpose shall be identified prior to use. Unless the new purpose is required by law, the consent of the individual is required before information can be used for that purpose. For an elaboration on consent, please refer to the Consent principle (Clause 4.3).
Persons collecting personal information should be able to explain to individuals the purposes for which the information is being collected.
This principle is linked closely to the Limiting Collection principle (Clause 4.4) and the Limiting Use, Disclosure, and Retention principle (Clause 4.5).