The following is a list of some of the most recent postings on the website, including Orders, Investigation Reports, news releases and resources. The dates below correspond to the date that each item was posted on the website.
An individual was an employee of the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) when he made a correction request to CBE under the FOIP Act. He requested that particular information in his Employee Health Resources file be removed. CBE refused to correct the information, stating that it consisted of opinions, and instead annotated the applicant's file. The Adjudicator determined that the information the applicant requested be corrected consisted primarily of statements made by third parties. The Adjudicator noted that such statements can be corrected only if they were inaccurately recorded, and that the statements need not be true to have been accurately recorded. The Adjudicator found that CBE properly refused to correct the information.
An individual participated in a proceeding before the Alberta Labour Relations Board (LRB). The LRB published the decision resulting from the proceeding on its website and included the individual’s name in the context of information about a complaint he had made. The individual asked the LRB to mask his name in the publicly available decision. The LRB referred to the request to the vice-chair of the panel, who determined that the request did not meet the criteria for masking the individual's name. The individual made a complaint to the Commissioner about the vice-chair’s refusal to mask his personal information and argued that failing to mask his personal information from the decision on the LRB’s website contravened Part 2 of the the FOIP Act. The Adjudicator found that the decision not to mask personal information was made by a vice-chair of the LRB and was made within the LRB’s exclusive jurisdiction to make under section 12(4) of the Labour Relations Code. The Adjudicator determined that the doctrine of issue estoppel or “res judicata” applied and that factors relevant to this doctrine weighed against exercising discretion to deciding the issue for inquiry.
The OIPC's Annual Report 2019-20 was tabled today in the legislature. It includes a message from the Commissioner, and sections on trends and issues, case stats, regulation and enforcement, education and outreach, and financial statements. Among the highlights, the Commissioner called for modernization of Alberta's access and privacy laws, the By the Numbers section showed yet another record-breaking year for total cases opened and closed, and the Regulation and Enforcement and Education and Outreach sections summarized some of our activities in those regards.
This addendum to the OIPC's Annual Report 2019-20 lists all privacy impact assessments (PIAs) accepted during the fiscal year. Statistics are for the period April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020. In total, there were 1,031 accepted PIAs during the reporting period.
An individual requested access to survey results from the University of Calgary. The University of Calgary refused access citing section 4(1)(i) of the FOIP Act, which exempts the research of an employee of a post-secondary educational body from the scope of the FOIP Act. The Adjudicator accepted that the records were research. However, the Adjudicator found that the research was used by both the employee and the University of Calgary itself, rather than only by the employee. As a result, the research at issue did not fall within the scope of section 4(1)(i). The Adjudicator directed the University of Calgary to respond to the access request with reference to the requested survey results.
An individual made an access request to Alberta Health Services (AHS). The access request related to information regarding a complaint she had made to AHS. AHS sent the response package but it went missing and the applicant never received the package. The applicant complained to the Commissioner that AHS had not taken reasonable steps to ensure the security of her personal information when it mailed the records to her, in contravention of section 38 of the FOIP Act. The Adjudicator found that although the package went missing, AHS had taken reasonable steps to ensure the security of the complainant's personal information.
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.
After Bill 46, Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2020 (No. 2) was tabled in the legislature on November 5, 2020, the Commissioner committed to reviewing the proposed amendments and making comments public. This letter issued on November 13, 2020 outlines the Commissioner's views on key proposed amendments, including expanded access to Netcare, expanded use of health information made available via Netcare, and the removal of a PIA requirement for Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services and the Health Quality Council of Alberta for certain information sharing activities.
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.
An individual complained that the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) collected inaccurate information about him and used it to decide to ban him from a City of Edmonton facility. The Adjudicator concluded that it was the City of Edmonton that issued the ban. The decision EPS made about the complainant was whether to pursue an investigation into possible criminal activity, and it decided a further investigation was not warranted. The Adjudicator determined that EPS met its duty under section 35(a) of the FOIP Act to make every reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy of personal information when making a decision about an individual.
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