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.
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.
This order is a reconsideration of Order F2017-54, which examined the response of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency to an access request under the FOIP Act. On judicial review of that order, the Court of Queen’s Bench held that parts of the order by which the previous adjudicator ordered disclosure of records to which section 24(1) had been applied was unreasonable. In that inquiry, the records had not been provided for the Adjudicator’s review as they were also withheld under a claim of privilege. The privilege claim was later withdrawn, and the Court directed that the records be provided to this OIPC for assessment by a different Adjudicator. In this reconsideration, the Alberta Emergency Management Agency applied sections pertaining to disclosure harmful to personal privacy (section 17), advice from officials (section24(1)) and privileged information (sections 27(1)(b) and/or (c)) to information in several pages of records. The Adjudicator made several determinations in this reconsideration, and ordered the disclosure to the applicant a limited amount of information to which section 24(1)(a) did not apply.
An individual complained that a bylaw officer employed by the City of Edmonton collected and disclosed her personal information in contravention of the FOIP Act. The Adjudicator found that the City of Edmonton did not collect the complainant’s personal information when the peace officer recorded the number of dogs she observed in a front window. The Adjudicator determined that this was not personal information of the complainant. The Adjudicator also determined that if the information was personal information, the City of Edmonton was authorized to collect it under sections 33(b) and (c). The City of Edmonton did record personal information of the complainant during the investigation of the bylaw complaint. The Adjudicator found that the information disclosed by the City of Edmonton to the Municipal Prosecutor in relation to the contravention of the Animal Licensing and Control Bylaw was the complainant’s personal information. The Adjudicator determined that this disclosure was authorized under the FOIP Act.
An individual complained that Peace River School Division No. 10 indirectly collected, used and disclosed their personal information contrary to the FOIP Act. The Adjudicator made several determinations regarding the collection, use and disclosure of the individual's personal information, and concluded that the school division complied with the FOIP Act.
An individual made a complaint that The Co-operators Group Limited had required him to provide a power of attorney when he attempted to cancel a motor vehicle insurance policy belonging to an ill family member. The organization rejected a power of attorney letter from the family member's doctor submitted by the complainant. The Adjudicator determined that the organization had required the power of attorney to satisfy itself that the complainant had standing to alter terms of a contract of insurance between the organization and an insured. It was determined that the organization had not collected more information than was necessary. The Adjudicator also determined that the organization did not need to obtain consent, as it was clearly in the best interests of the insured that the organization be satisfied that the complainant had the legal authority to make changes to the contract on behalf of the insured.
The OIPC's Annual Report 2018-19 summarized certain access and privacy trends and issues, including health information breaches, the importance of records management to the right of access to information and smart cities. The By the Numbers section showed that it was another record breaking year for cases opened and closed by the OIPC, especially breach reports. Annual Report 2018-19 was tabled in the legislature on November 19, 2019.
This addendum to the OIPC's Annual Report 2018-19 lists all privacy impact assessments (PIAs) accepted during the fiscal year. Statistics are for the period April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019. In total, there were 645 accepted PIAs during the reporting period, of which 99% (637) were from health custodians under HIA. PIAs are required to be submitted by health custodians for review and comment under section 64 of HIA.
This investigation was opened after Alberta Justice and Solicitor General (JSG) submitted three section 55 applications to disregard five access requests. All of the requests were for closed circuit television recordings at the Calgary Remand Centre. In its section 55 applications, JSG requested that the Commissioner advise them to secure the responsive video records if they were to be preserved. Upon discovering those statements, the Commissioner requested JSG to confirm whether it had preserved the responsive records. JSG informed the Commissioner that all responsive records had been overwritten. The Commissioner initiated this investigation in response. The investigation resulted in four findings and 10 recommendations.
An individual made an access request to Worley Parsons Canada for his personal file, in addition to other records regarding his insurance claim, and information documenting a litigation hold. The organization provided the applicant with his personal file and other information about his insurance claims. However, it refused to provide references contained in his personal file, draft calculations and information regarding documenting a litigation hold, on the basis that such information was outside the scope of PIPA. In his submissions for the inquiry, the applicant demanded records unrelated to those that were the subject of the requests for review and inquiry. He also made complaints against the organization, many of which were outside the scope of PIPA to address. The Adjudicator determined that the applicant had no interest in the subject matter of the inquiry and confirmed that the organization had responded appropriately to the applicant under PIPA.
In a joint resolution, Information and Privacy Ombudspersons and Commissioners from across Canada urged their governments to modernize access to information and privacy laws. “Most Canadian access and privacy laws have not been fundamentally changed since their passage, some more than 35 years ago,” the resolution says. “They have sadly fallen behind the laws of many other countries in the level of privacy protection provided to citizens.” Canada’s access to information and privacy guardians noted that along with its many benefits, the rapid advancement of technologies has had an impact on fundamental democratic principles and human rights, including access to information and privacy.
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