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Letters and Commentaries

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  • Addendum to the Submission to the Select Special Health Information Act Review Committee

    On August 24, 2004, the Commissioner provided an addendum to the submission that was sent on August 5, 2004.

  • Amendments to Alberta's Personal Information Protection Act

    As a result of the Government of Alberta's decision to prorogue the legislative session in September 2014, the Commissioner wrote a letter concerned that PIPA may lapse due to a Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision that found PIPA unconstitutional in November 2013. The SCC provided the Alberta legislature 12 months to bring PIPA in line with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

  • Bill 28: Public Health Amendment Act, 2016

    On November 9, 2016, the Commissioner wrote to the Minister of Health seeking clarification on certain provisions of Bill 28 - the Public Health Amendment Act, 2016.

  • Bill C-51: The Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015

    On March 4, 2015, the Commissioner, in partnership with Ontario and British Columbia's Information and Privacy Commissioners, provided recommendations to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security for Bill C-51, The Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015.

  • Calgary Police Service's Use of Body-Worn Cameras

    On October 2, 2014, the Commissioner wrote a letter to the Calgary Police Service's Chief of Police to raise a number of privacy and access to information issues about its plan to pilot the use of body-worn cameras by its officers.

  • Commissioner Highlights Privacy Education Initiatives in Alberta

    Following up on a letter to the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada from all federal, provincial and territorial privacy protection authorities, the Commissioner wrote to Alberta's Minister of Education to highlight some ongoing initiatives in Alberta to enhance privacy education. The letter was sent to the Minister of Education on November 8, 2017 during Media Literacy Week.

  • Commissioner's Letter on Proposed Health Information Act Amendments in Bill 46

    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.

  • Commissioner's Recommended Improvements to the FOIP Act and PIPA

    In the Annual Report 2019-20, the Commissioner committed to writing to the Minister of Service Alberta to ask that updates be considered for the FOIP Act and PIPA. The recommendations put forward were selected with a view to adapting the legislation to reflect accelerated digitization in all sectors in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and enhanced societal expectations relating to access to information and privacy rights. The letter was sent on November 30, 2020.

  • Commissioner's Response to Street Checks and Policing Public Consultation

    The Commissioner wrote a letter in response to the Government of Alberta's public consultation on the practice of police street checks. The consultation's purpose was to help in the development of provincial guidelines for the practice of police street checks. Published in October 2017.

  • Consultation on Canada's National Security Framework

    In December 2016, Canada's privacy commissioners and ombudspersons submitted a letter to the Government of Canada on its national security framework consultation.

  • Council of Ministers of Education, Canada Called on to Prioritize Privacy Education

    Federal, provincial and territorial privacy protection authorities called on Ministers of Education to clearly and concretely include privacy education as a component in digital literacy curricula across the country. The letter was sent to the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada on November 3, 2017.

  • Cyberbullying Bill

    On June 2, 2014, the Commissioner, in partnership with Ontario and British Columbia's Information and Privacy Commissioners, wrote to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights expressing concern about Bill C-13, the cyberbullying and "lawful access" bill.

  • Data Privacy Day Op-Ed: Privacy Breaches

    On January 28, 2016, the Commissioner submitted an op-ed to the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald for Data Privacy Day to emphasize the importance of valuing and protecting personal information by raising awareness about privacy breaches.

  • Data Privacy Day Op-Ed: Learning About Privacy Needs to Be Out in the Open

    On January 28, 2020, the Commissioner submitted an op-ed to several Alberta media outlets for Data Privacy Day to reflect on privacy rights over the past decade and how to move privacy discussions forward over the next 10 years. The op-ed focused in particular on student privacy issues in the digital economy and the OIPC's support of The eQuality Project.

  • Decrease in Crime Shows We Have Less to Fear

    This letter to the editor was sent in response to an article in the Edmonton Journal about crime in Edmonton. The Commissioner noted that misleading readers with headlines about crime statistics increases fears, which then leads to more calls for surveillance, when, in fact, crime rates had decreased in the city.

  • Google Glass

    On June 18, 2013, the Commissioner, in partnership with international privacy regulators, strongly urged Google to engage in dialogue with data protection authorities.

  • Health Information Act Amendments

    On February 27, 2014, the Commissioner wrote to the Minister of Health recommending the inclusion of mandatory breach reporting and notification provisions in the Health Information Act.

  • Insecam Webcam Streaming

    On November 21, 2014, the Commissioner, in partnership with international privacy regulators, expressed concern to the operators of Insecam about its streaming of unsecured webcams.

  • Municipal Government Act Review

    On June 11, 2014, the Commissioner submitted comments and recommendations regarding the Government of Alberta's Municipal Government Act review where it intersected with access and privacy laws.

  • National Identification Card

    On February 19, 2003, the Commissioner submitted concerns to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration about a proposed national identity card.

  • Our Right to Know What Governments Know About Us Op-Ed

    On September 28, 2016, the Commissioner submitted an op-ed to the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald for Right to Know Day, or the International Day for Universal Access to Information, to speak to importance of the right of access to personal information. "So, as we celebrate access to information this year, let’s remind ourselves that it’s not just about exposing secrets or advancing private interests. We are recognizing our right to know what governments know about us."

  • PIPA Amendment

    On September 22, 2014, the Commissioner wrote to the Ministers of Service Alberta and Justice and Solicitor General expressing concern about the time in which the government had to amend PIPA to ensure its validity following the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling that PIPA was unconstitutional.

  • PIPA and UFCW

    On December 20, 2013, the Commissioner wrote the Ministers of Service Alberta and Justice and Solicitor General regarding the Supreme Court of Canada's (SCC) ruling that PIPA was unconstitutional. The SCC provided 12 months for the Legislative Assembly of Alberta to bring PIPA in line with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

  • Proposed Health Charter and Health Advocate Regulation

    On March 3, 2014, the Commissioner provided comments the proposed Health Charter and Health Advocate Regulation.

  • Residential School Survivors Must Decide the Fate of Their Testimony

    On July 26, 2014, an op-ed written by the Commissioners of Alberta and British Columbia was published in The Globe and Mail regarding the complex legal and jurisdictional issues surrounding certain residential school records.

  • Response to the Final Report of the Select Special Health Information Act Review Committee

    In October 2004, the Commissioner provided a response to the final report by the Select Special Health Information Act Review Committee.

  • Smart Cities Challenge

    On April 24, 2018, federal, provincial, and territorial privacy protection authorities wrote to the federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities urging Infrastructure Canada to proactively take steps to ensure that privacy and security of personal information are specifically considered in the selection, design, and implementation of the winning proposals in Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge, which was launched under the Government of Canada’s Impact Canada Initiative.

  • Submission to the Select Special Health Information Act Review Committee

    On August 5, 2004, the Commissioner submitted a review and recommendations regarding a review of the Health Information Act.