Your Privacy Rights

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) protect the privacy of individuals with respect to their personal information held by provincial and local government organizations. The Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) protects the privacy of individuals with respect to their personal health information held by health information custodians. It is the responsibility of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) to ensure that government organizations and health information custodians abide by the requirements of the privacy legislation that applies to them.

To learn more about your privacy rights under FIPPA and MFIPPA, please refer to our brochure, Your Privacy and Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner. To learn more about your privacy rights under PHIPA, please refer to our brochure, The Personal Health Information Protection Act and Your Privacy.

Under FIPPA and MFIPPA, “personal information" means recorded information about an individual. This may include the individual’s name, address, sex, age, education, medical or employment history – and any other information about the individual. FIPPA and MFIPPA require government organizations to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to the personal information in their possession. There are specific rules on how they may collect, use, retain, disclose and dispose of personal information. If an individual feels that a government organization has not complied with FIPPA or MFIPPA with respect to the handling of personal information, he or she may file a complaint with the IPC. To learn more about how to file a privacy complaint under FIPPA or MFIPPA, please refer to our brochure, New Privacy Complaint Process.

Under PHIPA, “personal health information” means identifying information about an individual in oral or recorded form, if the information relates to the physical or mental health of the individual. For example, personal health information includes family health history, information about visits to a doctor and the Ontario health card number. PHIPA requires health information custodians to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to the personal health information in their possession. There are specific rules on how they may collect, use and disclose personal health information. If an individual feels that a health information custodian has not complied with PHIPA with respect to the handling of personal health information, he or she may file a complaint with the IPC. To learn more about how to file a privacy complaint under PHIPA, please refer to our brochure, Collection, Use, Disclosure and Other Complaints - Personal Health Information Protection Act.

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