Policy Consultations

Considering a consultation with the IPC?

Protecting privacy, safeguarding information, and providing access to information can be challenging, especially in a quickly evolving digital world.

As one of our stakeholders, you might be seeking feedback or guidance on new programs, projects, technologies, or processes that you are considering. To the extent our resources permit and subject to our discretion, we would be pleased to offer comment on the privacy and transparency implications of proposed legislative schemes and government programs or the information practices of custodians and children service providers.[1] Through consultation, the IPC can provide meaningful comments and general guidance to help you manage privacy and information security risks. We can also direct you to resources to help you safeguard information and better understand your obligations under the applicable access and privacy laws.

Our office oversees compliance with several provincial laws, which protect the access and privacy rights of Ontarians. These laws include the:

  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)
  • Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)
  • Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA)
  • Part X of the Child, Youth, and Family Services Act (CYFSA)
  • Anti-Racism Act (ARA)

If you are a stakeholder subject to one or more of these laws, a consultation with the IPC may assist you. Some examples of our stakeholders include:

  • public institutions, such as provincial or municipal government or agencies of government
  • health care providers, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, mental health and addiction treatment facilities, dental clinics, or other health care practitioners and providers
  • police services (provincial and municipal)
  • school boards and universities
  • children’s aid societies, Indigenous child well-being societies, and other child and family service providers

Consultations can benefit us all.

  • You receive general guidance and best practices from IPC subject-matter experts during the critical development stage of a program, project or initiative and before its implementation.
  • We increase our awareness and understanding of new initiatives that may affect privacy or access and the kinds of practical challenges you face on the ground.
  • Ontarians benefit from enhanced compliance with access and privacy laws.

We welcome the chance to engage with you. While we cannot provide legal advice and do not endorse or approve any specific technology, device, or proposal, we can provide valuable general guidance and best practices to help you manage privacy risks, enable public access to information, and comply with applicable laws.

Read our FAQs to learn how to prepare for, and what to expect from, a consultation with us.

To learn more about the consultation process or to request a consultation, please contact us at policy.consultations@ipc.on.ca. For general inquiries about the IPC, please email info@ipc.on.ca.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

At the request of an organization or other stakeholder, the IPC may offer general guidance and best practices on the access to information and privacy issues related to specific programs, technologies, services and information practices. The IPC does not endorse or approve programs, technologies, services, and information practices in providing general guidance and best practices to organizations and other stakeholders.

Consultations with the IPC and the general guidance and best practices provided are for informational purposes only. They should not be relied upon as a substitute for the legislation itself or as legal advice. Consultations are intended to help enhance understanding of rights and obligations under Ontario’s access and privacy laws. Consultations with the IPC and the general guidance and best practices provided do not bind the IPC’s tribunal that may be called upon to independently investigate and decide upon an individual complaint or appeal based on the specific facts and unique circumstances of a given case.

 

[1] The IPC’s statutory power to provide comment is found in s.59(a) of FIPPA, s.46(a) of MFIPPA, s.66(d) of PHIPA, and s.326(d) of the CYFSA.
[2] Please refer to the IPC website for updates on any physical office closures due to the pandemic.

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