IPC - Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario | What's New http://www.ipc.on.ca en-us A New Look for PHIPA Decisions http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=396 Today we issued <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/english/Decisions-and-Resolutions/Decisions-and-Resolutions-Summary/?id=9910" target=_blank>PHIPA Decision 15</A>, under the <A href="http://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/04p03" target=_blank><EM>Personal Health Information Protection Act</EM></A>. It provides a glimpse at a new look and a slightly different process that we will follow when dealing with health-related matters. We will be publishing an expanded range of PHIPA decisions, to provide more precedents and guidance to health information custodians and the public about their rights and obligations. PHIPA decisions will all be named “PHIPA Decision [#]” and include those that:<BR> <UL> <LI>follow a review and contain orders or recommendations; <LI>follow a review and make no orders or recommendations; <LI>are published interim decisions; and <LI>are published decisions not to conduct a review. </LI> </UL> Thu, 03 Sep 2015 00:00:00 GMT Recommendations on Police Street Checks http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=395 <P>In <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/images/WhatsNew/Letter to Minister Naqvi re Street Checks Consultation Discussion Document.pdf" target=_blank>a submission to the Honourable Yasir Naqvi</A>, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, the Commissioner offers recommendations on the practice of police street checks. These recommendations respond directly to questions posed in the Ministry’s <EM><A href="http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/PublicConsultations/mcscs_pc.aspx" target=_blank>Ontario Proposed Regulation for Street Checks Consultation Document</A></EM>, which will inform the development of a regulation governing this practice.</P> <P>It is not clear from existing evidence that street checks reduce crime and improve public safety. However, if they are to continue, it is critical that a province-wide governance framework be put in place to protect Ontarians’ privacy and other fundamental rights. The Commissioner recommends that this framework clearly define the scope of permissible street checks and set out rules for the collection, retention, use and disclosure of personal information gathered in the course of these checks. The framework should also ensure that officers:<BR> <UL> <LI>notify individuals of their right not to participate or not to answer some or all of the police officer’s questions; <LI>notify individuals of the right to request access to their personal information gathered during a street check; and <LI>provide a receipt or business card to individuals that outlines the reason for the interaction, even if personal information is not collected. </UL> </p> <P>The Commissioner also recommends that police collect <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/English/Resources/Discussion-Papers/Discussion-Papers-Summary/?id=1420" target=_blank>de-identified</A> data during street checks in order to allow the ministry, the police and oversight bodies to study the impact of street checks on privacy and other rights, as well as on public safety. </P> <P>The ministry is asking for the public’s feedback on police street checks. The last of a series of <A href="http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/PublicConsultations/street-checks-meetings.aspx" target=_blank>public meetings</A> is taking place in Toronto tonight, but there are <A href="http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/PublicConsultations/mcscs_pc.aspx" target=_blank>numerous other ways to share your views</A>, including by mail, email or online form, until Sept. 21. </P> </LI> Tue, 01 Sep 2015 00:00:00 GMT Schools in Ontario Can Request Student Immunization Records http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=394 A school’s right to request student vaccination records is the focus of <A href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/schools-should-to-be-able-to-request-students-vaccination-records-cma/article26111472/" target=_blank>a recent <EM>Globe &amp; Mail</EM> article</A>. Children’s health card numbers and immunization histories are their personal information, and so parents <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/english/Resources/Educational-Material/Educational-Material-Summary/?id=193" target=_blank>may question</A> if this kind of request is an invasion of privacy.<BR> <BR> In fact, schools in Ontario are permitted to collect students’ health card numbers and transfer them to the medical officer of health so that he or she can maintain students’ immunization records and limit the impact of vaccine-preventable diseases. If there is an outbreak, the medical officer of health may order schools to bar students if their statements of immunization are unavailable and they were not granted a medical exemption.<BR> <BR> Under municipal privacy legislation, a notice of collection should appear on the forms that schools send home to request health card numbers. The notice explains why the health unit is authorized to collect this information under the <EM>Immunization of School Pupils Act</EM> and Ontario’s health privacy legislation. Most schools collect the information on behalf of the local health unit and do not keep a copy of the completed form. Mon, 31 Aug 2015 00:00:00 GMT IPC Finds No Wrongdoing by TDSB Staff or Trustees http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=393 <P>In a <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/images/WhatsNew/MO-3230.pdf" target=_blank>recent appeal by a <I>Toronto Star</I> journalist</A> seeking trustee expense audit documents from the Toronto District School Board, we found that a lack of clarity about the records requested and a failure to follow internal procedures led to problems in how the board responded to the request. These missteps led to serious accusations of document tampering and interference in the freedom of information (FOI) process resulting in negative media attention. Through our inquiry, we found that there was no evidence of wrongdoing, and made recommendations on how similar problems can be avoided in the future. The board is to provide us with an update by the end of the year on its progress in implementing the recommendations.</P> <P>This case should serve as a cautionary tale for all institutions in managing FOI requests. Ontario’s provincial and municipal access laws place important responsibilities with freedom of information coordinators (FOICs), who must seek clarification when a request is unclear. Failure to take this important step can result in misunderstanding, misperceptions and delays as well as frustration for the requester and any third parties who may be affected. Here are some tips to help avoid these difficulties. </P> <P><STRONG>Have Procedures in Place and Follow Them</STRONG><BR> <BR> Every public body covered by access laws should have well documented procedures in place for responding to FOI requests and follow them in every instance. Training should be provided to all staff who respond to requests and those who are regularly involved in records searches. This includes ensuring that there are employees available to cover staff leaves and vacations. </P> <P><STRONG>Seek Clarity</STRONG><BR> <BR> While everyone has the right to request government-held information, navigating the FOI process can be difficult for the public. What may appear to be a routine request may in fact be complicated, especially when there are multiple versions of similar records, as in this case. By working with the person most familiar with the record, you can determine exactly which records are relevant and then go back to the requester to ensure clarity. This will allow you to deliver your decision in a timely manner.</P> <P><STRONG>Notice to Third Parties</STRONG><BR> <BR> There may be times when third-party information is contained in the records requested, and the views of that individual or organization must be considered before release. There may be people who do not understand the process, or exactly what information about them is being sought. Before providing notice, it is a best practice to have clarified the request and the responsive records. If the third party requires additional information, clarification should be provided to them about exactly what records are at issue. </P> <P>If you are facing challenges on how to process specific FOI requests, there are resources available on our website and through the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.</P> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 00:00:00 GMT Letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Proposes MFIPPA Amendment http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=392 In <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/images/WhatsNew/Aug 11 2015 Letter to Minister Ted McMeekin re Municipal Legislation Review.pdf" target=_blank>a letter to the Honourable Ted McMeekin</A>, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Commissioner applauds the ministry for engaging the public and other stakeholders in its <A href="http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page11144.aspx" target=_blank>review</A> of Ontario’s municipal legislation. Recognizing this process as an opportunity to improve accountability and transparency, he recommends amendments to the <EM>Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act</EM> (<EM>MFIPPA</EM>) relating to municipal councillors’ records. The proposed amendment would broaden the scope of information accessible under <EM>MFIPPA</EM>. The Commissioner has offered his continued assistance to the minister and his staff. He also asks that our office be consulted on any reforms that involve new collection, use or disclosure of personal information or personal health information. Mon, 17 Aug 2015 00:00:00 GMT Balancing Transparency, Privacy and the Internet http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=390 While providing services to the public, municipalities are often required to collect, use and disclose personal information from and about their community members. Some information received and processed by municipalities is legally required to be made publicly available for the purposes of allowing public participation in decision-making and for maintaining transparency and accountability with respect to the activities of these institutions. Government transparency and access to information are vital to a free and functioning democratic society. Without them, the public cannot participate meaningfully in the democratic process. <BR> <BR> Not surprisingly, municipalities are turning to the Internet as a means of making information public in an effort to improve accessibility, transparency and accountability. This can include publishing records directly to a municipality’s website or including records in searchable databases that can be accessed online. Publishing materials online is an effective means of ensuring that the public has access to a municipality’s information. However, when publicly available records include personal information, there are privacy implications that should be considered before that information is made available on the Internet. <BR> <BR> Municipalities should balance the need to protect the privacy of their community members, in compliance with the provincial privacy legislation and the need to meet their other legislated obligations. The new guide <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/english/Resources/Discussion-Papers/Discussion-Papers-Summary/?id=1530&amp;pk_campaign=Municipal%20Balancing%20Acts&amp;pk_kwd=privacy%2C%20transparency%2C%20municipal">Transparency, Privacy and the Internet: Municipal Balancing Acts</A> describes a number of policy, procedural and technical options available to municipalities to mitigate the privacy risks associated with publishing personal information on the Internet. <BR> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 00:00:00 GMT Filing A Health Privacy Complaint http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=391 <IMG style="WIDTH: 485px; HEIGHT: 1568px" alt="" src="/site_images/Filing A Health Privacy Complaint.png" width=381 height=1554> Tue, 04 Aug 2015 00:00:00 GMT Reaching Out to Ontario: Sault Ste Marie http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=385 <TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=3 width=500 bgColor=#ffffff align=center> <TBODY> <TR> <TD style="LINE-HEIGHT: 28px; COLOR: #ffffff; FONT-SIZE: 24px" bgColor=#ffffff vAlign=top align=center> <DIV align=center><A href="www.realprivacy.ca/index.php/international-privacy-day-symposium/" border="0"><IMG border=0 alt="" src="http://www.ipc.on.ca/site_images/roto2015-ssm-invite_500.jpg" width=500 height=140></A></DIV> </TD> </TR> <TR> <TD align=center><STRONG>September 25, 2015 - 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.<BR> Sault Area Hospital<BR> Sault Ste Marie </STRONG></TD> </TR> <TR> <TD style="COLOR: #000" height=200 vAlign=top align=left> <P>Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner is coming to the Sault Area Hospital this September to commemorate Right to Know Week. This special event will highlight the ongoing evolution to more transparent and accountable government in all parts of the province. Celebrated in more than 40 countries around the world, Right to Know Week promotes the enormous benefits of Open Government. The Commissioner will also take this opportunity to speak about the important issues surrounding health privacy.</P> <P>Following the Commissioner’s presentation two concurrent panels will examine: </P> <BLOCKQUOTE> <P><STRONG>Modernizing Access to Information </STRONG><BR> Open Government offers enormous possibilities to improve access to government-held information, enhance engagement with the public and drive economic innovation. Discussions will focus on important new developments in these areas and best practices to further open up municipal and provincial information.&nbsp; </P> <P><STRONG>Protecting Health Privacy </STRONG><BR> The highly sensitive nature of personal health information and the need to share it seamlessly with numerous health care providers presents significant challenges to privacy. Speakers will offer strategies to reduce the risk and ensure the best possible protection in electronic environments. </P> </BLOCKQUOTE> <P>Please join us and be part of the discussion about how we can build a better province where our privacy is well protected and governments remain accountable.</P> <TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=5 cellPadding=5 width="100%" bgColor=#c4e4e3 align=center> <TBODY> <TR> <TD vAlign=top colSpan=3 align=center cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">AGENDA</TD> </TR> <TR> </TR> <TR> <TD vAlign=top align=left><STRONG>9:00 a.m.</STRONG></TD> <TD vAlign=top colSpan=2 align=left>Registration</TD> </TR> <TR> <TD vAlign=top align=left><STRONG>9:15 a.m.</STRONG></TD> <TD vAlign=top colSpan=2 align=left>Welcome and Opening Remarks from Ron Gagnon, President and CEO, Sault&nbsp;Area Hospital </TD> </TR> <TR> <TD vAlign=top width="18%" align=left>&nbsp;</TD> <TD vAlign=top width="82%" colSpan=2 align=left>Presentation by Brian Beamish, Commissioner</TD> </TR> <TR> <TD vAlign=top align=left><STRONG>10:00 -<BR> 11.00 a.m.</STRONG></TD> <TD vAlign=top colSpan=2 align=left> <P>Concurrent panel sessions:</P> <OL type=A> <LI>Protecting personal health information in an electronic environment <UL> <LI>Manuela Di Re, Director of Legal Services <LI>Debra Grant, Director of Health Policy </LI> </UL> <LI>Working towards a more transparent and accountable government <UL> <LI>David Goodis, Assistant Commissioner <LI>Sherry Liang, Assistant Commissioner </LI> </UL> </LI> </OL> <P>&nbsp;</P> </TD> </TR> </TBODY> </TABLE> <P style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify; COLOR: #000"><STRONG>EVENT DETAILS</STRONG><BR> <STRONG>Date: </STRONG>September 25, 2015<BR> <STRONG>Registration:</STRONG>&nbsp;9.00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.<BR> <STRONG>Location:</STRONG> <A style="COLOR: #488793" href="http://www.sah.on.ca/" target=_blank>Sault Area Hospital</A>, Auditorium </P> <P>Webcasting details to follow.</P> <P>There is no cost for the event, but we kindly ask that you RSVP. Please specify which session you would like to attend.</P> <TABLE style="COLOR: #000000" border=3 cellSpacing=5 borderColor=#488793 cellPadding=5 width="50%" align=center height=59> <TBODY> <TR> <TD style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333; COLOR: #000000" width="25%" align=center> <P style="COLOR: #fff; FONT-SIZE: 14px; TEXT-DECORATION: none"><STRONG>RSVP</STRONG></P> </TD> <TD style="COLOR: #000000" width="25%" align=center><STRONG><A style="COLOR: #488793; FONT-SIZE: 14px" href="mailto:rsvp@ipc.on.ca?subject=Attending">Yes</A></STRONG></TD> <TD style="COLOR: #000000" width="25%" align=center><STRONG><A style="COLOR: #488793; FONT-SIZE: 14px" href="mailto:rsvp@ipc.on.ca?subject=Regrets">No</A></STRONG></TD> </TR> </TBODY> </TABLE> <BR> </TD> </TR> <TR> <TD bgColor=#004900> <P style="COLOR: #fff"><STRONG>SPEAKERS</STRONG></P> </TD> </TR> <TR> <TD align=left><BR> <IMG border=0 hspace=5 alt="Brian Beamish" align=left src="http://www.ipc.on.ca/site_images/Brian-Beamish-web-sm.jpg" width=72 height=108><STRONG>Brian Beamish, Commissioner </STRONG><BR> <BR> Brian Beamish first began his career at the office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) in 1999, as Director of Policy and Compliance. This was followed by his appointment to Assistant Commissioner in 2005, where he directed the Tribunal Services Division - investigating privacy complaints and resolving access to information appeals. In addition to overseeing Tribunal, Acting Commissioner Beamish also served as an executive policy advisor, playing a key role in executing the mandate of the IPC and supporting several initiatives in the best interests of the public, such as bringing universities and hospitals under the <EM>Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act</EM> and ushering in the <EM>Personal Health Information Protection Act</EM>. Prior to joining the IPC, Brian held a number of positions within the Ontario Public Service, including with the Ministries of the Solicitor General and Correctional Services.<BR> <BR> </TD> </TR> <TR> <TD align=left><IMG border=0 hspace=5 alt="David Goodis" align=left src="http://www.ipc.on.ca/site_images/David-Goodis-web.jpg" width=72 height=108><STRONG>David Goodis, Assistant Commissioner</STRONG><BR> <BR> David Goodis is Assistant Commissioner (Policy &amp; Corporate Services) with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. David is a graduate of Western University's law school, and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1988. David has represented the IPC in hearings before the Divisional Court, the Ontario Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada. David recently co-authored the 2015 <EM>Annotated Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Acts</EM>, and teaches Canadian administrative law to foreign-trained lawyers at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law. <BR> <BR> </TD> </TR> <TR> <TD align=left><IMG border=0 hspace=5 alt="Sherry Liang" align=left src="http://www.ipc.on.ca/site_images/Sherry-Liang-web.jpg" width=72 height=108><STRONG>Sherry Liang, Assistant Commissioner </STRONG><BR> <BR> Sherry Liang is Assistant Commissioner with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. In that capacity she is responsible for the Tribunal Services Department which investigates privacy and health information complaints and resolves access to information appeals. Before her appointment to this position Ms. Liang served in various capacities at the IPC and held appointments as a Vice-Chair with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Grievance Settlement Board, and the Ontario Labour Relations Board. Ms. Liang has also been a Co-Chair of the University of Toronto Tribunal, practiced as an independent labour arbitrator and mediator, and was an Expert Advisor to Professor Harry Arthurs on the Federal Labour Standards Review Commission. Ms. Liang began her legal career in 1988 practising labour, administrative law and civil litigation at a Toronto law firm. She received a B.A. (Arts) from Queen's University, and her LL.B. and LL.M. (Administrative Law) from the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. <BR> <BR> </TD> </TR> <TR> <TD align=left></TD> </TR> <TR> <TD align=left><IMG border=0 hspace=5 alt="Manuela Di Re" align=left src="http://www.ipc.on.ca/site_images/Manuela-DiRe-web.jpg" width=72 height=108><STRONG>Manuela Di Re, Director of Legal Services and General Counsel </STRONG><BR> <BR> Manuela Di Re was called to the Bar of the Province of Ontario in 1998 and to the bar of the State of New York in 2000. Since her call to the bar of the Province of Ontario she has practised exclusively in the area of health law. She began her practice as associate counsel at McCarthy Tétrault providing advice and representation to physicians in claims for medical negligence, in complaints before the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and in matters before the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board and other administrative tribunals. She then continued her practice as senior legal counsel to a board of health, an ambulance service and two long-term care homes. In January 2005, she joined the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario and is currently the Director of Legal Services and General Counsel. <BR> <BR> </TD> </TR> <TR> <TD align=left><IMG border=0 hspace=5 alt="Debra Grant" align=left src="http://www.ipc.on.ca/site_images/Debra-Grant-web.jpg" width=72 height=108><STRONG>Debra Grant, Director of Health Policy </STRONG><BR> <BR> Debra Grant is the Director of Health Policy at the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, the independent body that oversees the <EM>Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act</EM>, the <EM>Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act</EM>, and the <EM>Personal Health Information Protection Act</EM>. She graduated in 1991 with a Ph.D. in social psychology from York University and has a Master's Degree in Applied Social Psychology from the University of Guelph. Since graduating, she has worked for the IPC conducting research and developing policies on access and privacy issues in relation to a wide variety of topics. She currently specializes in privacy issues in relation to the <EM>Personal Health Information Protection Act</EM>. <BR> <BR> </TD> </TR> <TR> <TD align=left>&nbsp;</TD> </TR> </TBODY> </TABLE> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 00:00:00 GMT How to Request a Correction http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=389 <IMG style="WIDTH: 420px; HEIGHT: 621px" alt="" src="/site_images/Requesting a Correction.jpg"> Mon, 27 Jul 2015 00:00:00 GMT Requesting Your Health Records http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=386 <SPAN><FONT face=Calibri><IMG style="WIDTH: 421px; HEIGHT: 1620px" alt="" src="/site_images/Requesting Your Health Records.png" width=452 height=1631><BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> </FONT></SPAN> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 00:00:00 GMT