Access and Privacy in Private Sector Businesses

Jul 21 2017

Recently we’ve received several questions about accessing information from a business, and other issues concerning privacy in the private sector in Ontario.

Because Ontario doesn’t have its own private-sector privacy law, the personal information-handling practices of businesses in this province are subject to a federal privacy law entitled the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

If you are looking to access your personal information from a retail store or a bank, for example, or you have a privacy concern for this type of business, you should first try to resolve the issue with the company. If you are not satisfied, you may have recourse through the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, who is the oversight agency for PIPEDA.

For more details or to file a complaint, please contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

The IPC is the watchdog for Ontario’s access to information and privacy laws, which apply to the municipal and provincial government sector as well as the full health sector.

Our laws do not apply to private companies such as retail stores, banks, credit bureaus or to federal government institutions.

Contact the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada for access to general records or personal information held by federal government institutions.