News Releases


The OIPC has archived several news releases, including all news releases related to orders. Prior to April 1, 2015, a news release was issued with each order. Orders are available here.

Page: of 1
Date Title Related Documents
Nov-13-2020 Information and Privacy Commissioner Comments on Amendments to the Health Information Act
Commissioner Jill Clayton has concerns with some proposed amendments to the Health Information Act (HIA) that if passed as written could increase risks to Albertans’ privacy. In a letter sent to Minister of Health Tyler Shandro, Clayton described the potential problems posed by certain amendments. Clayton also outlined proposed amendments she supports. “While many jurisdictions around the world are introducing new or enhanced privacy laws to build public trust and ensure accountability mechanisms are in place to protect personal or health information, many of the proposed amendments to HIA are heading in the other direction,” said Clayton.
Nov-05-2020 Information and Privacy Commissioner Responds to Health Information Act Amendments
The Commissioner expressed disappointment in not being consulted on Bill 46, which proposes significant amendments to the Health Information Act. The Commissioner committed reviewing the amendments in detail and making comments public.
Oct-29-2020 Cadillac Fairview Collected 5 Million Shoppers’ Images
Cadillac Fairview – one of North America’s largest commercial real estate companies – embedded cameras inside their digital information kiosks at 12 shopping malls across Canada and used facial recognition technology without their customers’ knowledge or consent, an investigation by the federal, Alberta and BC Privacy Commissioners has found. Cadillac Fairview asserted that shoppers were made aware of the activity via decals it had placed on shopping mall entry doors that referred to their privacy policy – a measure the Commissioners determined was insufficient. Cadillac Fairview also asserted that it was not collecting personal information, since the images taken by camera were briefly analyzed then deleted. However, the Commissioners found that Cadillac Fairview did collect personal information, and contravened privacy laws by failing to obtain meaningful consent as they collected the 5 million images with small, inconspicuous cameras. Cadillac Fairview also used video analytics to collect and analyze sensitive biometric information of customers.
Sep-10-2020 Multiple Penalties Issued to Individual Convicted of Health Information Breaches
A former medical clinic employee pleaded guilty to breaching the health information of several individuals in contravention of the Health Information Act. The individual was fined $6,000, given three years probation including not being able to access health information, and is required to complete 180 hours of community service for the infractions.
Jul-29-2020 ‘Public Interest Override’ in Alberta’s Freedom of Information Law Reviewed in Commissioner’s Report
The Commissioner released an investigation report that looked into the use of the “public interest override” provision (section 32) by public bodies under Alberta’s FOIP Act. Section 32 requires a public body to disclose information if it is in the public interest. The report includes an analysis of the public interest override in Alberta, survey results of Alberta public bodies regarding section 32, and a review of public interest disclosures in Canadian jurisdictions.
Jul-13-2020 Statement on the Passing of Robert C. Clark, Alberta's First Information and Privacy Commissioner
Alberta’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton issued a statement on the recent passing of Robert C. Clark, Alberta’s first Information and Privacy Commissioner.
Jul-09-2020 Commissioner Releases Report on ABTraceTogether Contact-Tracing App
The OIPC released a report on its review of the ABTraceTogether privacy impact assessment (PIA). The PIA was submitted by Alberta Health, and endorsed by Alberta Health Services, as required by Alberta’s Health Information Act. The OIPC accepted the ABTraceTogether PIA, with recommendations.
Jul-06-2020 Clearview AI Ceases Offering Its Facial Recognition Technology in Canada
Clearview AI has advised Canadian privacy protection authorities that, in response to their joint investigation, it will cease offering its facial recognition services in Canada. The investigation of Clearview by privacy protection authorities for Canada, Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec remains open. The authorities still plan to issue findings in this matter given the importance of the issue for the privacy rights of Canadians.
Jun-29-2020 Commissioners Open Investigation into Privacy Practices of Tim Hortons’ App
A joint investigation among four Canadian Privacy Commissioners is looking into Tim Hortons and its mobile app, specifically geolocation tracking and other privacy practices. Numerous media reports about Tim Hortons’ app have raised questions and concerns among privacy authorities.
May-01-2020 Commissioner Comments on Alberta’s Contact Tracing App
The Commissioner issued a statement in response to the launch of Alberta Health’s AB TraceTogether contact tracing application.
Apr-23-2020 Commissioner Responds to Government of Alberta’s Contact Tracing App Announcement
Information and Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton issued a statement in response to the Government of Alberta’s announcement about its contact tracing application.
Apr-21-2020 Commissioner Investigating Babylon by Telus Health App
The Commissioner launched investigations into the Babylon by Telus Health virtual healthcare app. The investigations were opened after concerns were identified in separate privacy impact assessments that a Calgary-based physician and Babylon Health Canada Limited had submitted on the app.
Apr-14-2020 Access to Information in the Context of a Global Pandemic
The Information and Privacy Commissioner supported a statement issued today by the International Conference of Information Commissioners. The statement recognized that public organizations are rightly focusing their resources on protecting public health, but noted that the importance of access to information remains. In particular, ensuring transparent communication and good record-keeping is essential during what will be a much analyzed period of history.
Apr-09-2020 Notice: Guidance to Parties Who Need to Submit an Affidavit to the Commissioner's Office
In this time of pandemic that requires social distancing, the Commissioner’s office has received questions about what to do about affidavits. The Commissioner’s office has decided that it will accept an affidavit that has been commissioned according to recent instructions issued by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta for remote commissioning of affidavits.
Mar-19-2020 Notice: PIAs During a Public Health Emergency
In response to some confusion about whether the Commissioner can relax requirements to submit PIAs during a public health emergency, the OIPC issued this notice.
Mar-16-2020 Notice: Requests for Time Extensions During an Emergency
The OIPC provided some information in the event that records responsive to an access request cannot be accessed or processed due to a disaster or pandemic, such as COVID-19.
Feb-28-2020 Commissioner Comments on Edmonton Police Service’s Use of Clearview AI’s Facial Recognition Technology
The Commissioner announced an investigation into Edmonton Police Service's compliance with the FOIP Act after it admitted certain employees had used Clearview AI's facial recognition technology.
Feb-21-2020 Announcement: Commissioners Launch Joint Investigation into Clearview AI Amid Growing Concerns Over Use of Facial Recognition Technology
The privacy protection authorities for Canada, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta announced today they will jointly investigate Clearview AI and its use of facial recognition technology. Privacy regulators in every province and territory have also agreed to work together to develop guidance for organizations – including law enforcement – on the use of biometric technology including facial recognition.
Jan-31-2020 Announcement: Notice to Albertans About LifeLabs Breach
The OIPC has confirmed with LifeLabs that 21,670 Albertans were potentially affected by this breach. Anyone who believes that their personal or health information may have been affected by this breach is encouraged to contact LifeLabs for more information. LifeLabs has a dedicated phone line for responding to this incident, which can be contacted at 1-888-918-0467. LifeLabs also has more information on its website at customernotice.lifelabs.com.
Jan-30-2020 Fine Levelled Against Former Covenant Health Employee for Privacy Breaches
A former Covenant Health employee pleaded guilty on Monday, Jan. 20 to knowingly accessing health information in contravention of the Health Information Act (HIA). The individual received a $3,000 fine and one year of probation, including no access to health information for one year.
Jan-23-2020 Commissioner Investigating ID Scanning Technology at Alcanna-operated Liquor Stores
The Information and Privacy Commissioner is investigating Alcanna Inc. (Alcanna) and Patronscan’s pilot project to use identification-scanning technology to permit entry into liquor stores Alcanna operates. The investigation will determine whether the use of this technology in liquor stores is compliant with the Personal Information Protection Act, Alberta’s private sector privacy law.
Page: of 1