IPC services during COVID-19

When will the IPC reopen?

Our top priority is keeping the public and IPC staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While our physical office is closed, IPC employees are working virtually from home. When our office will physically re-open depends on the evolving situation, the stage of Ontario’s re-opening, the status of Ontario’s broader public service, municipal directives, by-laws for the Toronto area, and public health advice.

We are developing a return to the office plan that will gradually transition staff back into the office. The exact staff return date is still to be determined.

What services is the IPC providing during this time?

Although we are not currently offering in-person services at our physical office, we continue to provide services to the public, public sector organizations, and the health and child and family services sectors. Members of the public who have filed appeals and complaints with our office, particularly in the earlier stages of the pandemic have experienced some delays, which we are now working hard to address.

We remain available to public organizations and the health and child and family services sectors for consultation and discussions on access and privacy matters.

Please contact our office if you have more questions about our services.

Do the statutory time limits for initiating complaints or appeals to the IPC continue to apply?

The time limits for initiating complaints or appeals to the IPC set out in Ontario’s access, health privacy, and child and family services laws remain in place.

What if my privacy is breached? Is the IPC taking complaints?

Yes. If you have a privacy complaint, you can submit it to the IPC using our online complaint forms, or mail a complaint to our office.

Can I still reach the IPC to consult or ask questions about matters related to access and privacy at my organization?

Yes. We remain available to public organizations, health information custodians, and child and family service providers for consultation and discussions about access and privacy matters.

You can contact us by phone at 416-326-3333 or toll-free at 1-800-387-0073. You can also reach us by emailing @email.

How can I report privacy breaches to the IPC?

Institutions, health information custodians, and child and family service providers should continue to report to the IPC privacy breaches experienced at their organizations using the online breach report form.

How is the IPC dealing with requests and appeals that relate to third party records?

Under normal circumstances, the IPC notifies institutions when an affected third party submits an appeal. This is done to ensure that the records related to an affected third party are not disclosed to the requester before the issue of disclosure is settled or determined.

While many organizations are still working remotely, institutions under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and Municipal Freedom of information and Protection of Privacy Act should not assume that a third party has not filed an appeal. Before disclosing third party records, institutions should:

  • Contact our office to ask whether a third party appeal has been filed. Please note that it may take the IPC up to 10 days to confirm receipt of a third party appeal.
  • Contact the affected third party to ask if they have filed an appeal with the IPC. If you contact the third party and confirm that no appeal has been filed, you do not need to contact the IPC or wait further to disclose the associated records.
How do I get in touch with an IPC staff member?

If you know the name of the person you are trying to reach, you can contact them directly by email. IPC employees can receive work emails securely whether they are at the office or working remotely.

Otherwise, you can call us at 416-326-3333 or toll-free at 1-800-387-0073 and leave a message with your contact information. We will direct your call to the person you wish to speak to, or someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

How can I send mail or records to the IPC?

We have a process to scan incoming mail to continue to provide services to the public, public sector organizations, and the health and child and family services sectors, while our staff work with information securely from outside the office. If your mail is urgent, you may email us at @email to advise us in advance to expect your incoming mail and ask for confirmation of receipt.

Individuals and organizations can also send important mail and records by courier, with or without a signature required.

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