IPC - Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario | What's New http://www.ipc.on.ca en-us Guidelines for the Use of Video Surveillance http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=407 <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/site_documents/FINAL_2015_Guidelines_Surveillance.pdf" target=_blank><IMG style="HEIGHT: 200px; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: ; BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: ; PADDING-BOTTOM: 10px; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: ; PADDING-TOP: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 10px; MARGIN: 10px; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: ; PADDING-RIGHT: 10px" alt="" src="/site_images/2015-Guidelines-Video-Surveillance-cover-lr.jpg" align=right style="border:1px solid black"></A> <P>Many institutions turn to video surveillance to help them fulfil their obligations to protect the safety of individuals and the security of their equipment and property. Video footage captured by cameras is regularly used to assist in the investigation of wrongdoing. However, the use of these surveillance technologies can put individuals’ privacy at risk. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider both whether it is appropriate to install video surveillance and how it is used.</P> <P><A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/english/Resources/Best-Practices-and-Professional-Guidelines/Best-Practices-and-Professional-Guidelines-Summary/?id=1624" target=_blank>This publication</A> brings together our previous guidance on video surveillance and responds to new issues and factors, including appropriate retention periods, notices of collection and disclosures to law enforcement agencies.</P> <P>The guidelines canvas the requirements set out in Ontario’s public-sector privacy legislation regarding the collection, use, retention and disclosure of personal information and discuss how these requirements apply to video surveillance technologies. They also include best practices for institutions that are considering video surveillance, such as conducting a privacy impact assessment, consulting the public and establishing comprehensive policies and procedures for the system.</P> <P>Individuals have a general right of access to government-held information, including members of the public who may have been involved in an incident in an area under surveillance. As such, public bodies must be prepared to process these requests including developing protocols for the redaction of personal information from the video footage where appropriate.</P> <P>In each section, concrete examples clarify obligations and best practices. By following these guidelines, institutions can use video surveillance technologies, while protecting individuals’ privacy in accordance with their obligations under Ontario’s privacy legislation.</P> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 00:00:00 GMT Videos and Presentations: Reaching Out to Ontario, Sault Ste Marie http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=405 <p>On Sept. 25, 2015, the IPC was at Sault Area Hospital for a <a href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=385" target="_blank">Reaching Out to Ontario event</a> marking Right to Know Week.</p> <p>Commissioner Brian Beamish <a href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/english/Resources/Presentations-and-Speeches/Presentations-and-Speeches-Summary/?id=1611" target="_blank">spoke about</a> the ongoing evolution to more transparent and accountable government, Assistant Commissioners David Goodis and Sherry Liang <a href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/english/Resources/Presentations-and-Speeches/Presentations-and-Speeches-Summary/?id=1612" target="_blank">discussed</a> modernizing access to information and Director of Legal Services and General Counsel Manuela Di Re and Director of Health Policy Debra Grant <a href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/english/Resources/Presentations-and-Speeches/Presentations-and-Speeches-Summary/?id=1613" target="_blank">presented</a> on protecting health privacy.</p> <p>Watch video archives of <a href="http://mediasite.otn.ca/Mediasite/Play/8e6f7cbf54244ed99ef13459824e3ecd1d" target="_blank">the Commissioner's presentation and the health privacy panel</a>, as well as <a href="http://mediasite.otn.ca/Mediasite/Play/4c7ef90f45a147f988d0a997c9e75ee31d" target="_blank">the access panel</a>, courtesy of the Ontario Telemedicine Network.</p> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 00:00:00 GMT Right to Know Week: Ontarians Must Know the Cost of Public Sector Contracts http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=406 <P><EM>Commissioner Brian Beamish on the benefits of open contracting:</EM></P> <P>September 28<SUP>th</SUP> marked the beginning of Right to Know week, which annually raises awareness internationally of the public’s right to access government-held information and highlights the importance of freedom of information legislation to the democratic process. The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario is recognizing Right to Know Week by releasing a new guidance document, <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/english/Resources/Best-Practices-and-Professional-Guidelines/Best-Practices-and-Professional-Guidelines-Summary/?id=1608" target=_blank>Open Contracting: Proactive Disclosure of Procurement Records</A>, which calls on governments at all levels to shed greater transparency on how public funds are spent.</P> <P>In order to be truly accountable and transparent, public sector bodies must commit to proactively publishing contract and procurement information. This simple pledge will bring clarity to government spending and foster greater trust in government stewardship of public money. Despite years of calls from my office for this to happen, many public sector bodies are still not proactively releasing this valuable information. Now is the time to change this practice by building transparency into the process from the beginning of all new procurements.</P> <P>Openness in government can only be achieved when the business of government is carried out publicly and the decision-making process is transparent and understandable. The ability to hold government accountable relies on the public’s right to access government-held information easily and without resorting to formal processes. The practice of publishing valuable information, including information on contracts that have been entered into by government agencies, should be done in anticipation of the public’s needs. Ontarians have the right to know how contracts are awarded, what goods or services have been contracted for, the costs of the contract and who is responsible for all relevant decisions. Further, the public has a reasonable expectation that this information will be accessible online and easy to find.</P> <P>The first step to greater transparency is for public sector bodies to make it clear at the beginning of the procurement process that their intention is to make records public. By committing to transparency from the outset, limiting confidentiality to exceptional circumstances and clearly outlining to all parties involved what will be made public, a more open, competitive, fair and effective procurement process will be created. In our experience, the main reason why bidders and contractors do not want information released and challenge disclosure is because they operate under the mistaken belief that the procurement process is predominantly confidential. If this misconception is dispelled and it is clearly communicated what information will be publicly available and when, these objections can be overcome.</P> <P>I urge all Ontario public sector bodies to commit to the proactive disclosure of their procurement records, particularly the final negotiated contracts. Publishing this information ultimately benefits the public as well as the public bodies themselves.</P> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 00:00:00 GMT Join Us and CJFE for a Right to Know Day Twitter Chat http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=404 <IMG style="HEIGHT: 100px; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: ; WIDTH: 145px; BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: ; PADDING-BOTTOM: 10px; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: ; PADDING-TOP: 10px; PADDING-LEFT: 10px; MARGIN: 10px; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: ; PADDING-RIGHT: 10px" alt="" src="/site_images/new_twitter_logo.jpg" align=right></A> <P>On Sept. 28, join us and <A href="https://cjfe.org/" target=_blank>Canadian Journalists for Free Expression</A> (CJFE) for a chat about the power of Open Data and Access to Information. To mark <A href="http://www.oic-ci.gc.ca/rtk-dai-eng/" target=_blank>Right to Know Day</A>, we’ll be discussing and sharing examples of the important work journalists and citizens do that relies on data made available by institutions, either through proactive disclosure or freedom of information requests. Connect with others interested in this subject, ask questions, discover great pieces of data journalism and share your favourite projects, too. </P> <P><STRONG>Event Details</STRONG><BR> Monday, Sept. 28, 2015<BR> Noon to 1 p.m.<BR> Follow #RTKDchat, <A href="https://twitter.com/canadaCJFE" target=_blank>@CJFECanada</A> and <A href="https://twitter.com/IPCinfoprivacy" target=_blank>@IPCInfoPrivacy</A></P> Wed, 23 Sep 2015 00:00:00 GMT Why Institutions Should Embrace Proactive Disclosure of Procurement Records http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=403 <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/images/Resources/open-contracting_1.pdf" target=_blank><IMG style="HEIGHT: 250px; BORDER-TOP-COLOR: ; WIDTH: 175px; BORDER-LEFT-COLOR: ; PADDING-BOTTOM: 10px; BORDER-BOTTOM-COLOR: ; PADDING-TOP: 10px; PADDING-LEFT: 10px; MARGIN: 10px; BORDER-RIGHT-COLOR: ; PADDING-RIGHT: 10px" alt="" src="/site_images/open-contracting-cover-lr.jpg" align=right></A> <P>Access rights rely on both the public’s right to request government-held information and the government’s commitment to making information freely available. Proactive disclosure is the release of information in anticipation of the public’s needs and interests and is a key Open Government practice. Citizens are interested in how governments spend public funds, making access to records related to procurement especially important. </P> <P>For nearly a decade, we have called for greater transparency through the proactive disclosure of procurement records. We believe it will strengthen clarity and accountability around government spending. It can also provide tangible benefits to institutions by reducing the number of procurement-related freedom of information requests, appeals and associated costs.</P> <P>To make procurement processes transparent, institutions should disclose how contracts are awarded, what has been contracted for, how they chose the successful bidders, the various costs of the contract and who is responsible for the decisions related to the contract. Making this information available clarifies government decision-making around procurement and empowers individuals to engage with the process.</P> <P>Our new guidance document <EM><A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/images/Resources/open-contracting_1.pdf" target=_blank>Open Contracting: Proactive Disclosure of Procurement Records</A></EM> details the benefits of proactive disclosure and offers tips on designing and implementing a transparent procurement process, while still protecting confidentiality where appropriate.</P> <P>We encourage every organization covered by FIPPA or MFIPPA to commit to the proactive disclosure of procurement records and join others who have taken the first steps to adopt it.</P> Mon, 21 Sep 2015 00:00:00 GMT Proposed Legislation Will Increase Health Privacy http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=402 <P>On Sept. 16, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Eric Hoskins introduced Bill 119 to improve accountability and transparency in the health care system and better protect patient privacy. If passed, the <A href="http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&amp;Intranet=&amp;BillID=3438" target=_blank>Health Information Protection Act</A> would, among other things, require reporting of privacy breaches that meet certain requirements to our office, remove the six-month limitation period on commencing prosecutions and double the maximum fines for offences under <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/english/PHIPA/" target=_blank>Ontario’s health privacy legislation</A>.</P> <P>Reacting to <A href="http://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2015/09/ontario-taking-action-to-protect-patient-privacy-and-improve-transparency.html" target=_blank>the bill’s introduction</A>, the Commissioner affirmed the need to strengthen the existing legislation:<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE>“As the health-care sector transitions to shared electronic health records, the privacy of patients and the confidentiality of their personal health information must be protected to ensure public confidence. I am pleased that the government is moving forward with necessary amendments to Ontario’s health privacy legislation, which were developed in consultation with my office. The introduction of mandatory breach reporting to my office and strengthening the consequences for those who violate patient privacy will bring increased accountability and transparency as well as instill trust in the health system.”</BLOCKQUOTE> <P></P> Thu, 17 Sep 2015 00:00:00 GMT What Students Need to Know: High School Teachers’ Guides http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=401 <p>Understanding why access to government-held information and the protection of privacy are important public values will prepare students to become active participants in our democratic society. To assist teachers in meeting the Ministry of Education’s curriculum expectations, we created <a href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/English/Resources/Educational-Material/Educational-Material-Summary/?id=1117" target="_blank">two resource guides</a> that are tailored for grade 10 and grade 11/12 classes. The guides were developed in consultation with teachers and offer step-by-step activities, handouts, quizzes and evaluation criteria on subjects such as open government, online privacy and identify theft. </p> <p>Teachers can apply the guides to the following courses: <ul> <li>Civics, Grade 10, Open,</li> <li>Media Studies, Grade 11, Open,</li> <li>Canadian Politics and Citizenship, Grade 11, Open,</li> <li>Understanding Canadian Law, Grade 11, University/College Preparation, and</li> <li>Canadian and International Law, Grade 12, University Preparation.</li> </ul></p> <p>For summaries of the guides, see the <a href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/site_documents/fact-sheet-gr10-guide.pdf" target="_blank">Grade 10</a> and <a href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/site_documents/fact-sheet-gr11-12-guide.pdf" target="_blank">Grade 11/12</a> fact sheets.</p> Mon, 14 Sep 2015 00:00:00 GMT We’re Simplifying Our PHIPA Processes http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=400 <P>In order to simplify and clarify how we handle different types of complaints under the <EM>Personal Health Information Protection Act</EM> (<EM>PHIPA</EM>), we are updating our existing processes. In coming months, we will test the new procedures to ensure we continue to resolve <EM>PHIPA</EM> matters in a fair, just and timely way.</P> <P>Although we resolve many files at an early stage, we can also conduct a review under <EM>PHIPA</EM>, which gives us greater powers to investigate and issue orders. In our updated processes, as illustrated in the below flow chart, we will: <UL> <LI>provide similar processes for all types of complaints, <LI>distinguish between complainant-initiated files and breaches reported by custodians or files we initiated, and <LI>clarify roles and responsibilities of Intake, Investigation/Mediation and Adjudication — the three stages of our tribunal processes. </LI> </UL> <P><A href="/images/WhatsNew/PHIPA PILOT PROJECT PROCESS CHART.pdf" target=_blank>View full-size chart.</A></P> <A href="/images/WhatsNew/PHIPA PILOT PROJECT PROCESS CHART.pdf" target=_blank><IMG style="HEIGHT: 312px; WIDTH: 555px" alt="" src="/site_images/PHIPA PILOT PROJECT PROCESS CHART.jpg"></A> Thu, 10 Sep 2015 00:00:00 GMT Access and Privacy in the Classroom: Resources for Parents, Teachers and School Administrators http://www.ipc.on.ca/english/About-Us/Whats-New/Whats-New-Summary/?id=397 Each September, schools send students home with registration, health and safety forms asking for personal information. Though functional, these records may cause concern about privacy and access amongst parents and school administrators.<BR> <BR> We have a number of resources about the collection, use and disclosure of students’ information. These include <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/images/Resources/faq-e.pdf" target=_blank>an FAQ series</A> on topics such as <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/images/Resources/faq-03-e.pdf" taget="_blank">school photographs</A>, <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/images/Resources/faq-05-e.pdf" target=_blank>health card numbers</A> and <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/images/Resources/faq-08-e.pdf" target=_blank>confidential reports</A>, as well as how much access to student information is granted to <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/images/Resources/faq-06-e.pdf" target=_blank>separated spouses</A>, <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/images/Resources/faq-09-e.pdf" target=_blank>children’s aid societies</A> and <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/images/Resources/faq-10-e.pdf" target=_blank>police services</A>.<BR> <BR> For a detailed look at how access and privacy legislation interacts with the Education Act regarding student records, see <A href="https://www.ipc.on.ca/images/Resources/educate-e.pdf" target=_blank>A Guide to Ontario Legislation Covering the Release of Students’ Personal Information</A>. Tue, 08 Sep 2015 00:00:00 GMT 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