Filing a privacy complaint

If you think that your personal information has been improperly collected, used, or disclosed by a public institution, or by a health sector organization or practitioner, you have the right to question their actions. You also have a right to file a complaint with our office.

Where should I start?

Where should I start?

Call, write, or visit the organization directly and tell them your concerns. In most cases, the organization will be able to work with you to resolve the issue. If you are not satisfied with the response, you can file a complaint with our office.

What can the IPC do about my privacy complaint?

What can the IPC do about my privacy complaint?

The IPC can help you resolve the problem with the institution. If, after reviewing the complaint,  the IPC decides to process a privacy complaint and then establishes that there was a privacy breach, we can make recommendations to the institution to prevent it from happening again.

With limited exceptions, the IPC does not have the power, under Ontario’s provincial and municipal privacy laws, to make an order against an institution. It cannot issue fines, award damages or require that an institution discipline its staff members.

When investigating a health privacy complaint under Ontario’s health privacy law, the IPC has the power to issue orders, or “decisions.” IPC decisions are binding and require health sector organizations to take certain actions to comply with the law.

Find out more about health privacy investigations.

How do I file a complaint?

How do I file a complaint?

You can either fill out and submit our online form, or print the form and send it to our office. The IPC Registrar will open a complaint file and assign an analyst to look into your complaint.

Forms should be sent to:

Registrar
Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor Street East,
Suite 1400
Toronto, ON  M4W 1A8

I have a complaint about how my personal health information is being handled.

Can I appoint someone to act on my behalf?

Can I appoint someone to act on my behalf?

To appoint another person to act on your behalf during the complaint process, fill out the form Authorization to Act as an Agent for Privacy Complaint. You can attach it to the online form or include it when you mail your complaint form.

You do not need a form if a lawyer is representing you. However, you do not need a lawyer to proceed with your complaint.

What happens after I file a privacy complaint?

What happens after I file a privacy complaint?

An analyst will review your complaint and take steps to resolve it. We may:

  • call you to clarify your concern and to talk about what has happened in similar cases
  • review your complaint and work with you and the organization to resolve the issue

We may also:

  • open an investigation to look into your complaint further
  • in health privacy complaints, conduct a formal review

Is there a specific timeline for my complaint to be resolved?

Is there a specific timeline for my complaint to be resolved?

No, every complaint is different and the time needed to process the complaint can vary.

How long will it take to look into my complaint?

How long will it take to look into my complaint?

Every complaint is different; some take longer to look into and resolve than others.

What do I do if a private company is mishandling my personal information?

What do I do if a private company is mishandling my personal information?

If you have privacy concerns regarding information held by the federal government or private sector institutions, please contact the office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner.

 

File a Privacy Complaint Now

File a Health Privacy Complaint