Filter results by:
Month
Year
Topic
Type

Blog

126 results

End of Summer Commissioner’s Update

The summer of 2017 went by fast at the IPC! As we were busy conducting our normal activities, we were also preparing guidance for health care providers on the important amendments to Ontario’s health privacy law. Some of the amendments...

Read more

IPC Webinar – Records Information Management

Poor records and information management (RIM) practices can have a number of negative impacts on an institution and its staff. This can include affecting the quality of responses to freedom of information (FOI) requests, hindering transp...

Read more

Can health cards serve as proof of your identity?

Just about everyone is asked at one time or another to provide photo identification. Being asked for your health card for identification purposes has raised a few questions about when it is acceptable to ask for or show a health card for...

Read more

Guidance document available for health information custodians on reporting health privacy breaches

Starting on October 1, 2017, it will be mandatory for anyone who deals with health information to report certain privacy breaches to the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC). Designed to better protect patient privacy and improve a...

Read more

New IPC Fact Sheet: Frivolous and Vexatious Requests

The IPC is often asked how institutions should handle FOI requests that they deem to be frivolous and vexatious. Ontario’s access and privacy laws give individuals the right to access their own personal information and government-held ...

Read more

Access and Privacy in Private Sector Businesses

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 persona...

Read more

2016 Annual Report: Facing Challenges Together

Today we released our 2016 Annual Report, Facing Challenges Together, in which Commissioner Brian Beamish calls on the government to modernize Ontario’s access and privacy laws to better protect Ontarians’ rights, especially in the e...

Read more

IPC partners with federal privacy office to review online educational services

The IPC is pleased to announce our collaboration with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) in a joint research effort to evaluate online educational services. This collaborative effort is part of a larger, annual “Pri...

Read more

New Big Data Guidelines

Big data is increasingly used by government institutions to shape and improve policies, programs and services affecting the public they serve. While big data may benefit individuals, it also raises a number of privacy, fairness and ethic...

Read more

Reasonable Search: What FOI Requesters Can Do to Support the Search for Records

Ontarians’ right of access to information held by their government forms an essential cornerstone of both the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and its municipal counterpart, MFIPPA. These laws require instit...

Read more

Bill 68 Submission to Standing Committee on Social Policy – Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act, 2017

Commissioner Brian Beamish appeared before the Standing Committee on Social Policy today to provide the IPC’s views on Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act, 2017. Bill 68 proposes to expand the open meeting ex...

Read more

What is a Reasonable Search for Records?

What is a Reasonable Search for Records? Ontario institutions are required to conduct a reasonable search for records when they receive an access to information request. To answer some frequently asked questions about reasonable searches...

Read more

Submission to the Standing Committee on Bill 89, Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act, 2017

Commissioner Brian Beamish appeared before the Standing Committee on Justice Policy today to provide the IPC’s views on Bill 89, Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act, 2017. While the IPC appreciates the Ministry of Children and ...

Read more

Your doctor is retiring? What you should know about your medical records.

The IPC is excited to announce the launch of a biweekly blog about what is trending on our public inquiries line. We hope this blog series will raise awareness and answer some of your questions about rights and obligations under Ontario...

Read more

Submission to the Standing Committee on Bill 84, Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017

Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Brian Beamish, provided his comments this afternoon to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs on Bill 84, the Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017. ...

Read more

Recent IPC Decisions – March

Every month, the IPC makes decisions on access to information appeals and privacy complaints. Here is a sampling of four recent decisions: PO-3686 (University of Ottawa) – The university decided that a former employee’s request for a...

Read more

Protecting Privacy in Open Government

The IPC strongly supports Open Government initiatives and encourages Ontario institutions to be more open and transparent, and to enhance their engagement with the public. Without appropriate measures, however, institutions could face th...

Read more

IPC Coming to Thunder Bay – May 3

The Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) will be hosting a special event in Thunder Bay on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, as part of the IPC’s Reaching Out to Ontario program. Commissioner Brian Beamish and other IPC executives will use...

Read more

New PHIPA Code of Procedure

The IPC has published a new Code of Procedure for Matters under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004. This code comes into force on March 15, 2017, and will apply immediately to all IPC files under PHIPA. This code replac...

Read more

Recent IPC Decisions – February

Every month, the IPC makes decisions on access to information appeals and privacy complaints. Here is a sampling of four recent decisions: INTERIM ORDER PO-3673-I (Ministry of the Attorney General) – The requester was convicted of ...

Read more

Big Data and Your Privacy Rights

The emergence of big data as a tool to manage and analyze large and complex data sets offers great promise and opportunity, but also raises serious privacy challenges and considerations, especially to personal privacy. Public and health ...

Read more

OPC satisfied with actions taken by RESP company since misuse of patient maternity data

The Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) company whose employee improperly collected and used personal health information of Ontario hospital patients has implemented recommendations from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Can...

Read more

Recent Key IPC Decisions (January)

Every month, IPC adjudicators make decisions on access to information appeals and privacy complaints. Here are four recent key decisions: MO-3376 (City of Hamilton) A city decision to  release copies of a successful proposal relating to...

Read more

Statement from Commissioner Brian Beamish on the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Submission of False FOI Compliance Statistics

In June 2016 I had the honour to present the 2015 Annual Report of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, including a full array of statistics, to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Included in this report, as has been cu...

Read more

IPC Privacy Day Event – Government and Big Data: Privacy Risks and Solutions

Technological advancements have changed the way Ontario’s public institutions develop policy and design service delivery programs. Governments are collecting more data than ever before, and are taking advantage of powerful computing an...

Read more

Recommendations on modernizing Canada’s national security Framework

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada and his Quebec and Ontario counterparts will hold a news conference Tuesday to discuss privacy issues and the federal government’s national consultation on modernizing Canada’s national security Fra...

Read more

Teachers Must Consider Privacy Before Using Online Services

Educators are using online educational services for student learning, communication and evaluation.  While these services may be innovative, accessible and available at little or no cost, their use could put the privacy of students and ...

Read more

Submission to the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly on Bill 41, Patients First Act, 2016

Our office has reviewed Bill 41, Patients First Act, 2016, which proposes to eliminate Ontario’s 14 Community Care Access Centres and transfer their functions to Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). As a result of the...

Read more

The IPC Launches New Webinar Series

The IPC is committed to increasing its engagement with its various public and professional audiences across Ontario. To help with this province-wide outreach, the IPC is excited to announce a new webinar series on timely, in-demand topic...

Read more

Considering Video Surveillance?

There are a number of important factors Ontario institutions should consider before implementing a video surveillance system. Most importantly, video surveillance must be used in a way that protects individual privacy to be compliant wit...

Read more

Improving Access and Privacy with RIM

Developing effective records and information management (RIM) practices helps Ontario institutions meet their legal requirements and better serve the public. Poor RIM practices can negatively affect an institution’s ability to: respon...

Read more

IPC Supports the United Way

This past Sunday, 13 members of our staff took part in the CN Tower Climb to raise money for the United Way of Toronto and York Region. We are pleased to announce all of our team members made it to the top and raised $3,359 to support lo...

Read more

Resolution for Framework on Privacy Education

This week, Assistant Commissioner Sherry Liang is representing the IPC at the 38th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, in Marrakesh, Morocco. The conference brings together data protection authorities f...

Read more

Understanding Personal Information

Access and privacy laws protect the privacy of Ontarians’ personal information and give individuals the right to access their own information. To help you understand the meaning of the term “personal information,” the IPC has publi...

Read more

What You Need to Know If Your Business Is Affected by a Freedom of Information Request

The public has a right to request access to records held by Ontario’s public institutions. You might be notified that someone has requested information about your business or organization and you may have an interest in the outcome of ...

Read more

Commissioner Brian Beamish’s Statement on Right to Know Week 2016

“This year marks the 250th anniversary of the world’s first access to information legislation and so this Right to Know Week presents a chance to reflect on how far we have come in Ontario and more importantly, the path we would like...

Read more

What You Need Know If You Are Affected by a Freedom of Information Request

Under the access and privacy legislation, everyone has a right to request access to records held by Ontario’s public institutions. All institutions are required by law to protect your personal information, and to follow strict rules wh...

Read more

Study Finds Most Devices Don’t Reveal How Personal Information Will Be Used

Six in ten “Internet of Things” devices don’t properly tell customers how their personal information is being used, an international study has found. The GPEN (Global Privacy Enforcement Network) study, conducted by 25 data protect...

Read more

Best Practices for Automated Licence Plate Recognition Technologies

Automated licence plate recognition (ALPR) technologies can quickly capture and match large volumes of licence plate numbers to lists of plates stored in a database. Police services in Ontario use ALPR systems to match licence plates wit...

Read more

Understanding the Risks of Emailing Health Information

Individuals and organizations rely on email for its convenience, speed and economy. Health information custodians are no exception. While email offers many benefits, it also poses risks to the privacy of individuals and to the security...

Read more

Understanding and Implementing Open Government Initiatives

Today we are releasing two papers on Open Government, which is a concept based on the core belief that the public has the right to access the records and proceedings of government. Governments around the world are recognizing Open Govern...

Read more

The IPC is coming to London!

To commemorate Right to Know Week, Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Brian Beamish, is coming to London to discuss emerging trends in access to information and open government at Western University on September 27. Th...

Read more

Commissioner Interviewed by TV Ontario

Commissioner Beamish was interviewed by TV Ontario’s Daniel Kitts about the direction he wants to take as Commissioner, where there is still work to be done with regards to transparency and privacy in Ontario and how public attitudes a...

Read more

Protecting Against Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or “malware,” that encrypts files on your device or computer and then demands payment in exchange for the key needed to decrypt the files. It essentially locks you out of your data and hold...

Read more

Focus Ontario: A Year of Outreach, Engagement and Collaboration

Today we released our 2015 Annual Report – Focus Ontario: A Year of Outreach, Engagement and Collaboration. The report contains a comprehensive review of the year in access and privacy issues, and detailed statistics about freedom of i...

Read more

De-Identification: Basic Concepts and Techniques

As the demand for government-held data increases, institutions require effective processes and techniques for removing personal information. An important tool in this regard is de-identification. “De-identification” is the general te...

Read more

Personal Email Accounts and Instant Messaging

Some of Ontario’s public servants, elected officials and political staff use instant messaging services and personal or political party email accounts, in addition to their institution-issued email accounts, while doing business. It is...

Read more

Commissioner Brian Beamish recipient of Award for Excellence in Privacy Law

Information and Privacy Commissioner Brian Beamish has been named as the 2016 recipient of the Ontario Bar Association’s (OBA) prestigious Karen Spector Memorial Award for Excellence in Privacy Law. This award is in recognition for exc...

Read more

IPC orders release of doctors’ names in OHIP billing appeal

On June 1st, 2016, IPC Adjudicator John Higgins released his decision (PO-3617) in a case involving OHIP billings. This case arose from an access to information request to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for the names, speciali...

Read more

Recommendations for the Strategy for a Safer Ontario

Today our office submitted a set of eight recommendations to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services on its Strategy for a Safer Ontario consultation, which includes a review of the Police Services Act (PSA). We are pl...

Read more

When Are Councillors’ Records Subject to Access?

Freedom of information legislation provides Ontarians with rights of access to records held by government institutions. Government transparency and access to information are vital for a free and functioning democracy because they allow f...

Read more

The IPC takes part in the 2016 GPEN “Privacy Sweep”

Our office is pleased to announce that we will be participating in the Global Privacy Enforcement Network’s (GPEN) annual “Privacy Sweep” (Sweep) initiative, where privacy enforcement authorities work together to protect the privac...

Read more

Reaching Out to Ontario: Kingston

As part of our Reaching Out to Ontario outreach program, the Information and Privacy Commissioner is pleased to announce a special event we will be hosting at Queen’s University on May 4. Commissioner Brian Beamish and other IPC leader...

Read more

Submission to the Standing Committee on Bill 119 – Health Information Protection Act, 2015

Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Brian Beamish, submitted his comments this afternoon to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy on the Health Information Protection Act, 2015. The Commissioner’s submission is divided...

Read more

Memorandum of Understanding: OPC

The IPC signed the Memorandum of Understanding below with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) related to the administration and enforcement of the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) and the Personal Inf...

Read more

New Privacy Protective E-Petition System Recommended

This week, the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly presented its report recommending an e-petition system be added to the Assembly’s existing petition procedures. The report highlights many of the recommendations presented b...

Read more

Thinking About Clouds? Privacy, Security and Compliance Considerations for Ontario Public Sector Institutions

Cloud computing is a method of providing information and communication technology resources to individuals and organizations as an online service. It allows organizations with broad network access to tap into a shared pool of virtually u...

Read more

Toronto Star – Commissioner orders City of Oshawa to issue access decision about an email sent on personal account

In a decision that will be of interest to public institutions across Ontario, the IPC has ordered the city of Oshawa to issue an access decision about an email that Councillor Nancy Diamond sent using her personal email account. The ema...

Read more

Your Privacy and Your Health Card

Being asked for identification is something just about everyone has experienced at one time or another, for example when making a large purchase or applying for a gym membership. Most of us in Ontario have also at one time or another bee...

Read more

Panel Video – Privacy and Public Safety: A Progress Report

The full panel presentation from our Privacy Day Symposium, Privacy and Public Safety: A Progress Report, is now available below. Commissioner Beamish’s full Privacy Day presentation and PowerPoint are also available. Our guest ...

Read more

Online Reputation: Open Call for Essays

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) has launched a dialogue on reputation and privacy. As a follow-up to their recent discussion paper, Online Reputation: What are they saying about me?, the office is inviting any inte...

Read more

Yes, You Can Share Information to Protect a Child

Today, in collaboration with the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, we released a new guide to help professionals working with children understand that privacy legislation should not be a barrier to sharing information with a ch...

Read more

Privacy Day Event – Privacy and Public Safety: A Progress Report

Whether the issue is police record checks, street checks or body-worn cameras, new technologies and new ways of collecting and sharing personal information are having a substantial impact on privacy. These issues have sparked intense pub...

Read more

FIPPA and MFIPPA: The Recordkeeping Amendments

Bill 8, the Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, will come into effect on January 1, 2016. This Bill amends the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and the Municipal Freedom of Information a...

Read more

Submission on Draft Street Checks Regulations

In a submission to the Honourable Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, the Commissioner offers recommendations on the draft regulation proposed on October 28, 2015, which seeks to regulate the practice of ...

Read more

Presentations from the 2015 PHIPA Summit

This week’s 10th Annual PHIPA Connections Summit examined Ontario’s health privacy legislation, pending amendments and health information management strategies. This morning, Commissioner Brian Beamish updated attendees on “What’...

Read more

Privacy and Public Safety: A Progress Report

Whether the issue is police record checks, street checks or body-worn cameras, new technologies and new ways of collecting and sharing personal information are having a substantial impact on privacy. These issues have sparked intense pub...

Read more

2015 Statistical Reporting Now Open

The IPC’s Online Statistics Submission Website is now open for institutions to input their year-end statistical report. The deadline for reporting is Monday, February 29, 2016. Our office is required to make an annual report to the Sp...

Read more

Updated FAQs on Health Cards and Health Numbers

Health cards are important pieces of ID, commonly requested by a variety of individuals and organizations, not just health information custodians. However, Ontarians may not be aware of their rights and responsibilities when requiring, r...

Read more

PHIPA Decision 17

Today we published PHIPA Decision 17, an important decision dealing with the application of both the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) to a hospital. T...

Read more

Frontline #HealthPrivacy – Join the Conversation

Ten years after the passage of the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), unauthorized access to personal health information remains a serious issue. This has been highlighted in recent years by a few high-profile privacy br...

Read more

Submission to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy: Police Record Checks Reform Act

In a letter to Shafiq Qaadri, MPP and chair of the Standing Committee on Justice Policy, the Commissioner has expressed his support for Bill 113, the Police Record Checks Reform Act (the Act), which incorporates key privacy-protecting me...

Read more

Updated FAQs on Ontario’s Health Privacy Act

Think you know PHIPA? Ontario’s health-specific privacy legislation, the Personal Health Information Protection Act, came into force 11 years ago, on Nov. 1, 2004. To inform health information custodians and the public about their obli...

Read more

PHIPA: Past, Present, Future

Ontario’s health privacy act came into effect a decade ago, and since then our office has worked to uphold its principles by issuing decisions, guidelines and training materials for health information custodians. The Personal Health In...

Read more

Submission to the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly: E-Petitions

Earlier today the Commissioner appeared before the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly to provide advice on the integration of e-petitions into the Assembly’s existing petition procedures. His submission discusses the benefi...

Read more

How to Access Your Police-Held Records

Members of the public have the right to request records containing their personal information from the Ontario Provincial Police or a municipal police service. Individuals who make these requests may have, for example, played a role in a...

Read more

Guidelines for the Use of Video Surveillance

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 th...

Read more

Reaching Out to Ontario, Sault Ste Marie

On Sept. 25, 2015, the IPC was at Sault Area Hospital for a Reaching Out to Ontario event marking Right to Know Week. Commissioner Brian Beamish spoke about the ongoing evolution to more transparent and accountable government, Assistant ...

Read more

Right to Know Week: Ontarians Must Know the Cost of Public Sector Contracts

Commissioner Brian Beamish on the benefits of open contracting: September 28th marked the beginning of Right to Know Week, which annually raises awareness internationally of the public’s right to access government-held information and ...

Read more

Join Us and CJFE for a Right to Know Day Twitter Chat

On Sept. 28, join us and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) for a chat about the power of Open Data and Access to Information. To mark Right to Know Day, we’ll be discussing and sharing examples of the important work journ...

Read more

Why Institutions Should Embrace Proactive Disclosure of Procurement Records

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 pu...

Read more

Proposed Legislation Will Increase Health Privacy

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 Health Information Protection Act...

Read more

What Students Need to Know: High School Teachers’ Guides

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 o...

Read more

Access and Privacy in the Classroom: Resources for Parents, Teachers and School Administrators

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....

Read more

A New Look for PHIPA Decisions

Today we posted PHIPA Decision 15, under the Personal Health Information Protection Act. 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 publi...

Read more

Recommendations on Police Street Checks

In a submission to the Honourable Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, the Commissioner offers recommendations on the practice of police street checks. These recommendations respond directly to questions p...

Read more

Schools in Ontario Can Request Student Immunization Records

A school’s right to request student vaccination records is the focus of a recent Globe & Mail article. Children’s health card numbers and immunization histories are their personal information, and so parents may question if this ...

Read more

IPC Finds No Wrongdoing by TDSB Staff or Trustees

In a recent appeal by a Toronto Star journalist 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 t...

Read more

Letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Proposes MFIPPA Amendment

In a letter to the Honourable Ted McMeekin, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Commissioner applauds the ministry for engaging the public and other stakeholders in its review of Ontario’s municipal legislation. Recognizing ...

Read more

Balancing Transparency, Privacy and the Internet

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 requ...

Read more

Filing A Health Privacy Complaint

  Filing A Health Privacy Complaint

Read more

Reaching Out to Ontario: Sault Ste Marie

EVENT DETAILS Date: September 25, 2015 Registration: 9.00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Location: Sault Area Hospital, Auditorium There is no cost for the event, but we kindly ask that you RSVP. Please speci...

Read more

How to File an Appeal

How to File an Appeal  

Read more

Blog: Disclosing Disciplinary Action

It goes without saying that we take the protection of privacy very seriously. It is, after all, one of the primary reasons why our office exists. On the other hand, we also believe very much in the importance of transparency and accounta...

Read more

How to File a Freedom of Information Request

You have the right to request access to recorded information held by institutions. Filing a freedom of information request is easy. Here are the three steps:  

Read more

Minister of Health moves forward with all IPC recommendations for PHIPA amendments

June 10, 2015 – Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, the Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, announced in a statement that the government would move forward with all of the IPC’s recommendations for amendments to the Personal Health Infor...

Read more

IPC Annual Report: Charting a Course for the Future

Ontarians expect their governments and broader public sector organizations to embrace new technologies for the effective and efficient delivery of programs and services.  These technologies can be implemented in a way that will increase...

Read more

Planning for Success: A Guide to PIAs

Ontario public sector institutions must meet high standards of care and trust whenever collecting, using and disclosing personal and other sensitive information. Any public institution considering new information technologies, systems, a...

Read more

Commissioner interviewed by St. Catharines Standard on police use of body-worn cameras

The Commissioner was interviewed by the St. Catharines Standard at our Reaching Out to Ontario event at Brock University on the issues regarding privacy and police use of body-worn cameras.

Read more

IPC Orders City of Markham to Reconsider Release of Documents

As covered in this past weekend’s Toronto Star, the IPC has ordered the City of Markham to reconsider the disclosure of various reports pertaining to proposals for the construction of an arena. In two new interim Orders, MO-3176-I and...

Read more

Reaching Out to Ontario: Niagara Region

May 6, 2015 – 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Brock University Academic South Block 500 Glenridge Ave., Saint Catharines Ontario’s new Information and Privacy Commissioner is coming to the Niagara Region. Brian Beamish will be visiting ...

Read more

Privacy Complaint Report MC13-67

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario received a complaint alleging that the City of Vaughan (the City) contravened the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act) when making the ...

Read more

Brian Beamish Appointed Commissioner

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario has appointed Brian Beamish to a five-year term as Information and Privacy Commissioner, a role he had been acting in since July 1, 2014. Mr. Beamish joined the IPC as Director of Policy and Compliance...

Read more

Commissioner interviewed by CityTV and CBC TV regarding abandoned health records found near Richmond Hill medical clinic.

The Commissioner was interviewed by both CityTV and CBC TV regarding abandoned health records found near a Richmond Hill medical clinic. The interviews focus on the issue of abandoned health records and what can be done to prevent such ...

Read more

Detecting and Deterring Unauthorized Access to Personal Health Information

Unauthorized access continues to be a growing problem in the health sector in Ontario. The province’s Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), permits health information custodians (HIC) to collect, use and disclose persona...

Read more

Hospitals should report privacy breaches to commissioner: Editorial

Today, the Toronto Star published an editorial calling on Minister of Health, Eric Hoskins, to close the loophole in the privacy act and strengthen the IPC’s oversight. “The Commissioner is calling for a legislative change to force h...

Read more

Hundreds of hospital privacy violations go unreported

This morning, the Toronto Star looked into the large volume of privacy breaches in Ontario hospitals which are unreported. Acting Commissioner Beamish discussed the need for new legislation to force hospitals to report serious breaches...

Read more

Hospitals Should Review Auditing Practices

The Toronto Star found significant differences in the auditing practices of GTA hospitals. The paper spoke with Acting Commissioner Beamish about the changes he hopes to see: “There’s a spectrum out there,” acting Privacy Commissi...

Read more

IPC orders Rouge Valley to implement significant changes to protect patient health information

The Toronto Star spoke with Acting Commissioner Brian Beamish yesterday about the investigation into the two significant privacy breaches at Rouge Valley Health System and Health Order HO-013, released yesterday: “This kind of behavio...

Read more

Ontario passes legislation that makes it illegal to destroy government records

Based on some of the recommendations of the IPC report, Deleting Accountability: Record Management Practices of Political Staff – A Special Investigation Report, the Ontario government yesterday passed Bill 8, the Public Sector a...

Read more

Acting Commissioner Beamish concerned that patient information was found scattered around Toronto neighbourhood.

In an interview with Global News, Ontario’s acting Privacy Commissioner, Brian Beamish, expressed concern that documents containing personal patient information were found scattered across a Toronto neighbourhood clearly showing patien...

Read more

November 1st – 10th Anniversary of PHIPA

Of all the information that is collected about us in our increasingly data-driven lives, our health information is perhaps the most intimate and sensitive. While our financial information may say something about our tastes or socioeconom...

Read more

Toronto Star Agrees with Need for PHIPA Prosecutions

The Toronto Star editorial board agrees with Acting Commissioner Beamish’s call for sterner measures, under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, than a simple disciplinary action or firing for those who access medical re...

Read more

Acting Commissioner Brian Beamish calls for more prosecutions under PHIPA

Acting Commissioner Brian Beamish has called for tougher measures by calling for more prosecutions against those who commit serious breaches under Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act. In an interview with the Toronto S...

Read more

IPC launches inquiry into alleged TDSB report tampering

The Toronto Star spoke with Commissioner Brian Beamish yesterday about the IPC inquiry into the alleged tampering of TDSB documents by school board trustees and staff:  “Any allegation of tampering is something we take very...

Read more

Commissioner Brian Beamish’s statement on the breach of Rob Ford’s personal health information

Mount Sinai Hospital informed us in mid-September when they confirmed the breach. Since then, we have been working with the hospital to review the steps that were taken to protect the Mayor’s health information prior to his admission, ...

Read more

Commissioner Brian Beamish’s statement on the alleged alteration of TDSB records

The IPC is aware of the recent allegations regarding possible alteration of Toronto District School Board records subject to a freedom of information request as outlined in this morning’s Toronto Star story “Trustees lashed for repor...

Read more

Right to Know Week: Improving Access to Information in Ontario

Acting Commissioner Brian Beamish shares his thoughts on the future of access to information in Ontario: This week in Canada, we recognize Right to Know Day on September 28th and celebrate Right to Know Week. Since 2002, approximately 40...

Read more

Survey generates privacy concerns

Questions in a survey for tenants of the London Municipal Housing Corporation sparked the London Free Press to ask questions about the potential privacy implications.  The questions which caused concern related to mental health and...

Read more

Peterborough Hospital PHIPA Lawsuit

The Toronto Star has reported on a lawsuit involving a Peterborough hospital that could have wide-ranging implications for patient privacy in all of Ontario’s hospitals. At issue, is whether patients whose privacy has been breached can...

Read more

Rouge Valley informs more patients of potential breach

This week, Rouge Valley Health System sent out notices to additional patients that their personal health information may have been misused by two former employees. As part of the investigation into the breach, it was discovered that the ...

Read more

Statement from Brian Beamish, Acting Commissioner on the Rouge Valley Health System Privacy Breach

Our investigation into the incidents involving two staff members at Rouge Valley Health System misusing and disclosing patient information for the purposes of selling Registered Education Savings Plans is ongoing. We have met with senior...

Read more

Police record checks under scrutiny in Ontario

Acting Commissioner Brian Beamish was interviewed by the CBC regarding the disclosure of non-conviction information through police record checks and the recent revisions by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police to their voluntary L...

Read more

Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014

Today, Hon. Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier of Ontario, and President of the Treasury Board reintroduced legislation to make the Ontario government more open, accountable, transparent and accessible. Public Sector and MPP Accountability and...

Read more

Brian Beamish Appointed Acting Commissioner

Brian Beamish Acting Commissioner The Office of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario has appointed Brian Beamish as Acting Commissioner for the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC). This appointment, whi...

Read more

PHIPA Training Video

PHIPA Training Video  PHIPA: Real-World Scenarios This video was developed to help health information custodians understand their rights and obligations under the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). This video i...

Read more