Municipalities are turning to the Internet as a means of making information public in an effort to improve accessibility, transparency and accountability. This may include publishing records directly to their 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.

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. This new IPC guide 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.