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What's New

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.

Order F2018-31: City of Lethbridge
August 9, 2018

This order addressed the City of Lethbridge's new response to an access request, after the Adjudicator issued a previous order on the same records. The applicant made a request to the city for access to his personal information regarding a human resources investigation that had been conducted as a result of a complaint he had made, including access to the report of the city's investigator's findings. The city severed information from the records under provisions related to disclosure harmful to personal privacy and advice from officials. In Order F2014-23, the Adjudicator did not confirm the city's decisions to sever statements made by an officer who was the subject of the investigation, and directed the city to make a new decision taking into consideration relevant factors. The Adjudicator also directed the city to make a new decision regarding information that the Adjudicator was unable to find had a personal dimension. In this order, the Adjudicator found that there was no indication that the city had complied with the directions in Order F2014-23. The Adjudicator ordered the city to give the applicant access to the records.

Announcement: Facial Recognition at Calgary Malls Being Investigated
August 3, 2018

The Information and Privacy Commissioner has opened an investigation into the use of facial recognition technology without consent by Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited at shopping centres it operates in Calgary, as reported on social media and by numerous media outlets.

Order F2018-30: Seniors and Housing
August 2, 2018

On June 26, 2017, the applicant made an access request to Seniors and Housing for briefing notes in preparation for meetings between the Minister and Deputy Minister. The Adjudicator found that the Seniors and Housing did not respond to the applicant within the time limit set out in the FOIP Act, and ordered Seniors and Housing to respond to the applicant in accordance with its remaining duties under the Act.

Section 55 Decision: Alberta Energy Regulator
August 2, 2018

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) requested authorization to disregard an access request made by a husband and wife. AER stated that the applicants' original purpose for making the access request may have been to obtain information about their lands or about the watershed lands within which they believe their lands are situated. However, in attempts to clarify the scope of the requests by the AER, the applicants responded with abusive and vitriolic language and copied several other individuals in these responses to the AER. The AER's position was that the applicants demonstrated that their purpose was not to obtain information but to have a public platform to insult and degrade the AER. The Commissioner accepted the AER's position, based on emails and other information reviewed. In addition, in the applicants' submissions to the Commissioner in response to this request for authorization to disregard, the applicants mistook the OIPC as the entity responsible for responding to their access request. The emails the OIPC received were replete with demands to disclose information, insults and demeaning comments, as well as an unusual formatting style including a variety of fonts, font sizes, coloured letters and highlights. The Commissioner agreed with the AER that the requests were frivolous or vexatious and authorized the AER to disregard the request. However, if the applicants believe the AER's letter to clarify the scope does not capture the scope of their access request, they may in certain and unequivocal terms clarify the scope of the information to which they are requesting access but must not use abusive or vitriolic language.

Order F2018-29: Alberta Health Services
July 26, 2018

The applicant made an access request to Alberta Health Services (AHS) on February 1, 2018. AHS extended the time for responding to the applicant to April 6, 2018, but was unable to respond to the applicant by that date. The Adjudicator found that AHS did not meet its duty to respond to the applicant within statutory time limits. The Adjudicator also noted that AHS did not appear to have taken steps to clarify the applicant's access request, which may have resulted in it conducting an overly broad search for responsive records. The Adjudicator recommended that AHS take steps to clarify ambiguous access requests in order to respond more efficiently in the future.

Resource: Guidelines for Obtaining Meaningful Consent
July 17, 2018

Building on previous publications examining the current state of consent, including challenges and potential solutions, this document sets out practical and actionable guidance regarding what organizations should do to ensure that they obtain meaningful consent. It was jointly issued by the OIPC, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia.

Order F2018-27: Alberta Justice and Solicitor General
July 17, 2018

An individual requested records from Alberta Justice and Solicitor General related to the 2013 floods and more specifically information relating to the berms that were constructed. Alberta Justice and Solicitor General withheld records in their entirety, citing sections related to records to which the FOIP Act does not apply, disclosure harmful to business interests of a third party, disclosure harmful to personal privacy, disclosure harmful to intergovernmental relations, advice from officials, disclosure harmful to economic and other interests of a public body and privileged information. This order dealt with the claim of solicitor-client privilege to some of records, which were not provided to the Adjudicator for the inquiry. The Adjudicator determined that Alberta Justice and Solicitor General failed to meet its burden to show that it properly claimed solicitor-client privilege over the records at issue in this part of the inquiry. The Adjudicator ordered Alberta Justice and Solicitor General to review the relevant records and respond to the applicant and the Adjudicator without relying on that privilege.

Order F2018-28: University of Alberta
July 17, 2018

An applicant made an access request to the University of Alberta on November 8, 2017. The university acknowledged receipt of the request but did not provide a response, despite being granted a time extension by the OIPC to respond by May 4, 2018. The Adjudicator ordered the university to respond to the applicant's access request as required by the FOIP Act.

Section 37 Decision: APEGA
July 17, 2018

On February 7, 2018, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) requested authorization to disregard two personal information requests made by an applicant under PIPA. Among several other findings, the Commissioner determined from information provided by both APEGA and the applicant that the applicant was using his matters before the OIPC as a bargaining tool in actions against APEGA. The Commissioner agreed with APEGA that the applicant's requests were vexatious and authorized the organization to disregard the applicant's access requests.

Section 55 Decision: Alberta Health Services
July 17, 2018

On July 5, 2017, Alberta Health Services (AHS) requested authorization to disregard an access request made by an individual. The individual had previously made three similar access requests for personal information covering different time periods, all of which were responded to by AHS. The Commissioner found that the requests were repetitious and systematic. However, the requests were found not to be an unreasonable interference on AHS operations; the escalation of the requests was not an abuse of the right to make requests; and the request was not frivolous or vexatious. The Commissioner ultimately found that AHS is required to respond to the access request in part. AHS is not required to respond to the applicant's request where it would duplicate records that have already been provided to the applicant. AHS also requested for it to disregard future requests for a period of 12 months of this decision and, after the 12-month period, only allow one request per year from the applicant for a period of five years. The Commissioner declined to make a decision regarding future access requests from the applicant.

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