When an individual feels that his or her personal information has been collected, used or disclosed by a government institution in contravention of privacy and access laws, he or she should call, write or visit the government office that has possession of the information to try to resolve the matter. If they can’t resolve it directly, they may file a privacy complaint directly with our office.
Privacy complaint files are reviewed by the IPC Registrar and a team of analysts, who will ensure that the complaint falls within IPC’s jurisdiction. If it doesn’t, the complaint may be screened-out at the Intake stage. A complaint may be screened out for other reasons.
Before deciding if a file should be screened out, the analyst will:
contact the complainant to clarify the details of the privacy complaint
explain the IPC procedures
contact the institution to discuss the complaint and gather additional information
Some privacy complaints can be resolved quickly without having to go through a formal investigation. In these cases, the Registrar will refer the case to an intake analyst who will work on an informal settlement with the parties involved.
If the privacy complaint is not dismissed or settled through Intake or Early Resolution, it will be assigned to an investigator. The investigator will clarify the complaint, contact the parties, gather information, and attempt a settlement. If a settlement is not possible, the investigator may issue a Draft Privacy Complaint Report to the parties.
At the end of the investigation, the investigator will send the finalized Privacy Complaint Report to the parties under his/her signature, with the endorsement of the Assistant Commissioner or Commissioner.
The investigator will also follow-up with the institution to ensure that any recommendations have been implemented.