IPC - Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario | What's New http://www.ipc.on.ca en-us Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014 http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=328 Today, Hon. Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier of Ontario, and President of the Treasury Board reintroduced legislation to make the Ontario government more open, accountable, transparent and accessible. <EM>Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014 </EM>is partly based on recommendations from the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s report <EM>Deleting Accountability: Records Management Practices of Political Staff </EM>which was released in June of 2013. Since that time, the IPC has worked closely with the Minister of Government Services to bring forward the proposed amendments to the <EM>Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act </EM>and the <EM>Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act </EM>that are contained within this legislation. If passed, this bill will greatly improve government record retention and protect important records from wilful destruction. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMT Brian Beamish Appointed Acting Commissioner http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=323 <TABLE cellSpacing=5 cellPadding=5 width="100%" align=center border=0> <TBODY> <TR> <TD vAlign=top><IMG alt="Interim Commissioner Brian Beamish" vspace=5 src="/site_images/BrianBeamish_website.jpg"><BR> <STRONG>Brian Beamish<BR> </STRONG><STRONG>Acting&nbsp;Commissioner<BR> </STRONG></TD> <TD vAlign=top> <DIV align=justify>The Office of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario has appointed <A href="http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/About-The-Commissioner/">Brian Beamish</A>&nbsp;as Acting Commissioner for the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC). This appointment, which began July 1, 2014, will be in place until a new Commissioner has been selected by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario or until December 31, 2014. Previously, Brian had served as the IPC’s Assistant Commissioner since 2005 and has been with the office since 1999.</DIV> </TD> </TR> </TBODY> </TABLE> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMT Ann Cavoukian and Christopher Wolf: Sorry, but there’s no online ‘right to be forgotten’ http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=322 This morning's <a href="http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/06/25/ann-cavoukian-and-christopher-wolf-sorry-but-theres-no-online-right-to-be-forgotten/" target="_blank">National Post</a> features an op-ed written by Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner Dr. Ann Cavoukian and the founder and co-chair of the Future of Privacy Forum think tank Christopher Wolf commenting if a recent European Court of Justice judgement requiring Internet search providers to remove links to embarrassing information should also be applied to Canadian Citizens.  The full article is below: <br> <br> <blockquote>A man walks into a library. He asks to see the librarian. He tells the librarian there is a book on the shelves of the library that contains truthful, historical information about his past conduct, but he says he is a changed man now and the book is no longer relevant. He insists that any reference in the library’s card catalog and electronic indexing system associating him with the book be removed, or he will go to the authorities. <br> <br> The librarian refuses, explaining that the library does not make judgments on people, but simply offers information to readers to direct them to materials from which they can make their own judgment in the so-called “marketplace of ideas.” The librarian goes on to explain that if the library had to respond to such requests, it would become a censorship body — essentially the arbiter of what information should remain accessible to the public. Moreover, if it had to respond to every such request, the burden would be enormous and there would be no easy way to determine whether a request was legitimate or not. The indexing system would become swiss cheese, with gaps and holes. And, most importantly, readers would be deprived of access to historical information that would allow them to reach their own conclusions about people and events. <br> <br> The librarian gives this example: What if someone is running for office but wants to hide something from his unsavory past by blocking access to the easiest way for voters to uncover those facts? Voters would be denied relevant information, and democracy would be impaired. <br> <br> The man is not convinced, and calls a government agent. The government agent threatens to fine or jail the librarian if he does not comply with the man’s request to remove the reference to the unflattering book in the library’s indexing system. <br> <br> Is this a scenario out of George Orwell’s <em>Nineteen Eighty-Four</em>? No, this is the logical extension of a recent ruling from Europe’s highest court, which ordered Google to remove a link to truthful information about a person, because that person found the information unflattering and out of date. (The scale of online indexing would of course be dramatically more comprehensive than a library indexing system.) <br> <br> The European Court of Justice ruled that Google has a legal obligation to remove, from a search result of an individual’s name, a link to a newspaper containing a truthful, factual account of the individual’s financial troubles years ago. The individual, a Spanish citizen, had requested that Google remove the newspaper link because the information it contained was “now entirely irrelevant.” This concept has been described as the “right to be forgotten.” While one may have sympathy for the Spanish man who claimed he had rehabilitated his credit and preferred that his previous setback be forgotten, the rule of law that the highest European Court has established could open the door to unintended consequences such as censorship and threats to freedom of expression. <br> <br> The European Court relied on the fundamental rights to privacy and to the protection of personal data contained in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, without so much as citing, much less analyzing, one of the other fundamental rights contained in the Charter, namely the right to free expression. <br> <br> Moreover, the Court did not provide sufficient instruction on how the “right to be forgotten” should be applied. When do truthful facts become “outdated” such that they should be suppressed on the Internet? Do online actors other than search engines have a duty to “scrub” the Internet of unflattering yet truthful facts? The Court didn’t say. The European Court of Justice has mandated that the Googles of the world serve as judge and jury of what legal information is in the public interest, and what information needs to be suppressed because the facts are now dated and the subject is a private person. Under penalty of fines and possibly jail time, online companies may err on the side of deleting links to information, with free expression suffering in the process. <br> <br> The European Court’s own Advocate General argued that a right to be forgotten “would entail sacrificing pivotal rights such as freedom of expression and information” and would suppress “legitimate and legal information that has entered the public sphere.” Further, the Advocate General argued, this would amount to “censuring” published content. In the First Amendment parlance of the U.S. Supreme Court, the European Court’s decision may amount to “burning the house to roast the pig.” <br> <br> You might think this problem is limited to Europe, and that the search results in North America will remain unaffected by the Court’s ruling. But earlier European efforts to cleanse the Internet (in the context of hate speech) suggested that even materials on North American domains would be subject to European law. <br> <br> As privacy advocates, we strongly support rights to protect an individual’s reputation and to guard against illegal and abusive behaviour. If you post something online about yourself, you should have the right to remove it or take it somewhere else. If someone else posts <em>illegal defamatory</em> content about you, as a general rule, you have a legal right to have it removed. But while personal control is essential to privacy, empowering individuals to demand the removal of links to unflattering, but accurate, information arguably goes far beyond protecting privacy. Other solutions should be explored to address the very real problem posed by the permanence of online data. <br> <br> The recent extreme application of privacy rights in such a vague, shotgun manner threatens free expression on the Internet. We cannot allow the right to privacy to be converted into the right to censor.</blockquote> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT Canadian Journalists for Free Expression supports watchdog's recommendations for access to information reform in Ontario http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=321 Ominous surveillance policies and routine denial of access to government-held information are among the most important emerging political issues in Canada. <br> <br> In this context, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) warmly welcomes the call by outgoing Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian for sweeping changes to the province's freedom-of-information laws. <br> <br> Cavoukian's <a href="http://annualreport.ipc.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/ar-2013-e.pdf" target="_blank">final annual report</a> amounts to a direct challenge to newly re-elected Premier Kathleen Wynne, said Peter Jacobsen, Chair of CJFE's Canadian Issues Committee. CJFE calls on the provincial government to: <ul> <li>use its new legislative majority to strengthen access to public records, on which free expression and effective democracy depend;</li> <li>make it an offence, with tough consequences, to destroy public records such as emails between public servants; and</li> <li>protect Ontarians from the chilling effects of government surveillance, which diminish free expression rights when left unchecked.</li> </ul> "Ann Cavoukian has capped her years of service with a resounding call for better access to provincial and municipal records," Jacobsen said. "Now it's up to Wynne and her government to make it easier for people to find out what their governments are doing and hold them to account." <br> <br> Cavoukian, ending her third term as Commissioner, also called on all Canadians to demand better answers from Ottawa about the extent of electronic surveillance by federal agencies. <br> <br> Many of her suggestions underscore the grave weaknesses that CJFE has highlighted in its annual <a href="https://cjfe.org/programs/free-expression-review" target="_blank">Review of Free Expression in Canada</a>. CJFE believes true free expression depends on broad access to information and knowledge that is collected and developed at public expense, as well as freedom from chill-inducing surveillance. <br> <br> Noting last year's unanimous call by federal, provincial and territorial commissioners for updating of privacy and access laws, Cavoukian said Ontario's 20-year-old freedom-of-information (FOI) regime urgently needs review and reform. <br> <br> Among her recommendations: <ul> <li>Require public officials to keep an accurate record of their activities and make it an offence to destroy or alter records that might be subject to FOI laws. (Her office uncovered widespread deletion of e-mails relating to the controversial cancellation of gas-fired electricity plants.)</li> <li>Require governments to routinely disclose public contracts instead of routinely withholding them, which triggers expensive FOI applications and appeals.</li> <li>Expand the coverage of FOI laws to include municipal councillors' constituency records as well as their work on official council business.</li> </ul> Cavoukian took aim at the growing penchant of government officials to attempt to justify withholding information about current events from the news media and the public by citing privacy legislation. Too often this amounts to a "convenient diversion for inaction," she said. She also renewed her call for an independent agency to supervise and review government access to Canadians' personal digital information. <br> <br> Pointing to U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden's revelations about the global reach of government surveillance, Cavoukian said: "We all face significant risks associated with unchecked state power. I ask every Canadian to keep the pressure on our leaders for some answers." <br> <br> CJFE will respond to Cavoukian's challenge by redoubling its efforts to broaden Canadians' right of access to information collected by the governments they elect, and work to stop unwarranted snooping by agencies such as the Communications Security Establishment Canada. <br> <br> "Ann Cavoukian is one of Canada's most energetic promoters of access to information and protection of privacy," said Jacobsen. "We're determined to push for the reforms she suggests, and confront other challenges to Canadians' freedom of expression wherever they arise." Mon, 23 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT Ontario's doctors support action taken by Ontario Privacy Commissioner http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=320 The OMA supports recent action taken by Ontario Privacy Commissioner Dr. Ann Cavoukian to prevent the indiscriminate disclosure of attempted suicide information by the Toronto Police Service (TPS). <br> <br> Mental health information is extremely sensitive in nature; widespread access to this information by the police and other authorities in the absence of a real and pressing threat to public safety may subject individuals to discrimination and stigmatize them further without cause. Ontario's doctors believe that safeguarding patient personal health information is of the utmost importance. All threats of suicide or suicide attempts are not indicative of future harm to others and discretion should be exercised appropriately before entering this data into the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). Although maintaining public safety is rightfully a prime objective for law enforcement, this must be balanced against the legal protection afforded to individuals by privacy legislation. <br> <br> Dr. Ved Tandan <br> President <br> Ontario Medical Association Wed, 18 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT Corporate Knights Presents Its 2014 Award of Distinction to Dr. Ann Cavoukian http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=318 <P>Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian is the 2014 recipient of the <A href="http://www.corporateknights.com/article/ann-cavoukian" target=_blank><EM>Corporate Knights’ </EM>annual Award of Distinction</A>, which recognizes leaders in Canadian society who have had a catalytic impact on advancing a more positive relationship between business, government and sustainable development. The magazine is commending the Commissioner’s legacy of work as champion in access to public information and innovator in the field of privacy protection:</P> <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><EM>Cavoukian, who has spent three terms and 15 years as commissioner, isn’t known for backing down when the fight is in the public interest, whether that means protecting the personal privacy of citizens or assuring access to information that’s crucial to holding governments accountable. It’s why Corporate Knights selected Cavoukian for its <A href="http://www.corporateknights.com/article/corporate-knights-present-its-2014-award-distinction-information-access-and-privacy-crusader" target=_blank>2014 Award of Distinction</A>, an honour bestowed in previous years on former prime minister Paul Martin and former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams, among others. The award recognizes leaders in Canadian society who have had a “catalytic impact” on advancing a more positive relationship between business, government and sustainable development.</EM></BLOCKQUOTE> <P></P> <P>Dr. Cavoukian will be presented her award this evening at Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Gala Dinner at Toronto’s Casa Loma.</P> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT Univeristy of Guelph Course: Managerial Effectiveness in Freedom of Information and Records Information Management Professionals http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=319 The Office of Open Learning at the University of Guelph has an upcoming course on Managerial Effectiveness for Freedom of Information and Records Information Management Professionals on July 14-18, 2014. This course will count as one credit towards a Certificate in Freedom of Information and Records Information Management and Diploma in School Board Administration. <br> <br> The course focuses on core principles of leadership, team building, communications, decision making and performance management within the context of the Freedom of Information and Records Information Management areas of the school board environment. <br> <br> Topics include: <br> &#8226; Creating Productive Teams <br> &#8226; Change Management <br> &#8226; Executive Presence and Team Leadership <br> &#8226; Developing a Privacy Culture <br> &#8226; Influencing Stakeholders <br> <br> <a href="http://www.professionalcertificates.ca/certificates-courses/freedom-of-info-records/managerial-effectiveness" target="_blank">Course webpage</a> <br> <a href="https://secure.open.uoguelph.ca/onlineregistration/submissionform.cfm?Projectid=279" target="_blank">Online registration</a> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT Statement from Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario on the Rouge Valley Hospital Privacy Breach http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=317 <P>We have launched a major investigation into the incidents involving two staff members at Rouge Valley Hospital, who misused personal information for the purpose of selling Registered Education Savings Plans. My office will be meeting with senior hospital staff next week to examine how this could have occurred. So far we are satisfied that the hospital has responded to the breaches appropriately, for example, by terminating the staff involved. However, as we continue the investigation, we will be looking at the steps taken to ensure that this does not occur again in the future. It appeared to be an isolated incident when first reported it to us, but this is clearly not the case. My office will review the hospital’s policies and procedures to ensure that it is complying with all of its responsibilities under the <EM>Personal Health Information Protection Act</EM>.</P> <P>We have also received a number of calls from members of the public and have read reports in the media of the possibility that this may be occurring in other hospitals in Ontario. No others are under investigation as of yet, but we will be reaching out to the hospitals mentioned, as part of our investigation. At the present time, we have no evidence to suggest that Rouge Valley Hospital employees had access to records relating to patients of other hospitals under a shared electronic health record. However, in our ongoing investigation, we certainly will be looking into this possibility.<BR> <BR> <STRONG>Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D.<BR> </STRONG>Information &amp; Privacy Commissioner,<BR> Ontario, Canada</P> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT Commissioners Cavoukian, Clayton, and Denham’s Joint Letter to the Standing Committee Reviewing Bill C-13 http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=316 The Information and Privacy Commissioners of Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia today wrote to the Chair of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights with their deep concern that the Committee will not hear from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada or any other Privacy Commissioner during their study of Bill C-13.<BR> <BR> The Commissioners are concerned that the law enforcement provisions of Bill C-13 in effect revive those in Bill C-30, again raising serious concern for many Canadians. <BR> <BR> Specific concerns about Bill C-13 relate to amendments to the Criminal Code that would increase the investigative powers of law enforcement, often on low suspicion-based thresholds, including:<BR> <UL> <LI>Data preservation and demand orders; <LI>New production orders to trace a specified communication; <LI>New warrants and production orders for transmission data and tracking; <LI>Enhancing efficiencies in relation to authorizations, warrants and orders. </LI> </UL> <P>Click <A href="http://www.ipc.on.ca/images/WhatsNew/Letter_to_Committee_Member_re_Bill_C-13_(2June2014).pdf" target=_blank>here</A> to read the letter. </P> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT #ABetterNet: Children & Youth and Social Media http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=315 The Internet is here to stay. The benefits, and dangers, of children and youth spending time online are well documented. From video calls with distant family members to cyberbullying, a web connected world is the reality for many children and youth and their caregivers today. Commissioner Cavoukian joined the discussion on the unintended consequences of social media. <br> <a href="http://hosting.epresence.tv/MUNK/1/Watch/530.aspx" target="_blank">Read more</a> <br> <br> <iframe src="http://hosting.epresence.tv/MUNK/1/embed.aspx?eventId=530&amp;embedded=true&amp;clickToGoHome=true&amp;templateType=Archive&amp;autoStart=false" height="315" width="560" frameborder="0"></iframe> Mon, 26 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT