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How to Report a Privacy Breach

Note: Individuals should not use this webpage. Individuals may Request a Review / File a Complaint.

For Organizations, Health Custodians and Public Bodies

privacy breach (or breach) means a loss of, unauthorized access to, or unauthorized disclosure of personal information or individually identifying health information.

To report a privacy breach to the OIPC, use the following documents:

Requirement to Report a Breach to the Commissioner

Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) 

It is mandatory for an organization with personal information under its control, to notify the Commissioner, without reasonable delay, of a privacy breach where "a reasonable person would consider that there exists a real risk of significant harm to an individual as a result of the loss or unauthorized access or disclosure" (section 34.1).

Organizations are required to notify the Commissioner of reportable breaches without unreasonable delay (section 34.1).

Health Information Act (HIA)

It is mandatory for a custodian having individually identifying health information in its custody or control to notify the Commissioner, as soon as practicable, of a privacy breach if the custodian determines "there is a risk of harm to an individual as a result of the loss or unauthorized access or disclosure" (section 60.1(2)).

In addition to notifying the Commissioner of the privacy breach, the custodian is also required by section 60.1(3) of HIA to notify the Minister of Health and the affected individuals of the privacy breach. Custodians are required to notify the Commissioner of reportable breaches as soon as practicable (section 60.1(2)).

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP Act)

Public bodies are not required by law to notify the Commissioner of a privacy breach. The OIPC encourages public bodies to voluntarily report privacy breaches.