Privacy Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. P-21)

Act current to 2016-08-01 and last amended on 2016-04-05. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Certificate under Canada Evidence Act
  •  (1) Where a certificate under section 38.13 of the Canada Evidence Act prohibiting the disclosure of personal information of a specific individual is issued before a complaint is filed by that individual under this Act in respect of a request for access to that information, the provisions of this Act respecting that individual’s right of access to his or her personal information do not apply to the information that is subject to the certificate.

  • Marginal note:Certificate following filing of complaint

    (2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, where a certificate under section 38.13 of the Canada Evidence Act prohibiting the disclosure of personal information of a specific individual is issued in respect of personal information after the filing of a complaint under this Act in relation to a request for access to that information,

    • (a) all proceedings under this Act in respect of that information, including an investigation, audit, appeal or judicial review, are discontinued;

    • (b) the Privacy Commissioner shall not disclose the information and shall take all necessary precautions to prevent its disclosure; and

    • (c) the Privacy Commissioner shall, within 10 days after the certificate is published in the Canada Gazette, return the information to the head of the government institution that controls the information.

  • Marginal note:Information not to be disclosed

    (3) The Privacy Commissioner and every person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Privacy Commissioner, in carrying out their functions under this Act, shall not disclose information subject to a certificate issued under section 38.13 of the Canada Evidence Act and shall take every reasonable precaution to avoid the disclosure of that information.

  • Marginal note:Limited power of delegation

    (4) The Privacy Commissioner may not, nor may an Assistant Privacy Commissioner, delegate the investigation of any complaint respecting information subject to a certificate issued under section 38.13 of the Canada Evidence Act except to one of a maximum of four officers or employees of the Commissioner specifically designated by the Commissioner for the purpose of conducting that investigation.

  • 2001, c. 41, s. 104.

General

Marginal note:Duties and functions of designated Minister
  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), the designated Minister shall

    • (a) cause to be kept under review the manner in which personal information banks are maintained and managed to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Act and the regulations relating to access by individuals to personal information contained therein;

    • (b) assign or cause to be assigned a registration number to each personal information bank;

    • (c) prescribe such forms as may be required for the operation of this Act and the regulations;

    • (d) cause to be prepared and distributed to government institutions directives and guidelines concerning the operation of this Act and the regulations; and

    • (e) prescribe the form of, and what information is to be included in, reports made to Parliament under section 72.

  • Marginal note:Exception for Bank of Canada

    (2) Anything that is required to be done by the designated Minister under paragraph (1)(a) or (d) shall be done in respect of the Bank of Canada by the Governor of the Bank of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Review of existing and proposed personal information banks

    (3) Subject to subsection (5), the designated Minister shall cause to be kept under review the utilization of existing personal information banks and proposals for the creation of new banks, and shall make such recommendations as he considers appropriate to the heads of the appropriate government institutions with regard to personal information banks that, in the opinion of the designated Minister, are under-utilized or the existence of which can be terminated.

  • Marginal note:Establishment and modification of personal information banks

    (4) Subject to subsection (5), no new personal information bank shall be established and no existing personal information banks shall be substantially modified without approval of the designated Minister or otherwise than in accordance with any term or condition on which such approval is given.

  • Marginal note:Application of subsections (3) and (4)

    (5) Subsections (3) and (4) apply only in respect of personal information banks under the control of government institutions that are departments as defined in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act.

  • Marginal note:Delegation to head of government institution

    (6) The designated Minister may authorize the head of a government institution to exercise and perform, in such manner and subject to such terms and conditions as the designated Minister directs, any of the powers, functions and duties of the designated Minister under subsection (3) or (4).

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “71”.
Marginal note:Report to Parliament
  •  (1) The head of every government institution shall prepare for submission to Parliament an annual report on the administration of this Act within the institution during each financial year.

  • Marginal note:Tabling of report

    (2) Every report prepared under subsection (1) shall be laid before each House of Parliament within three months after the financial year in respect of which it is made or, if that House is not then sitting, on any of the first fifteen days next thereafter that it is sitting.

  • Marginal note:Reference to Parliamentary committee

    (3) Every report prepared under subsection (1) shall, after it is laid before the Senate and the House of Commons, under subsection (2), be referred to the committee designated or established by Parliament for the purpose of subsection 75(1).

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “72”.
Marginal note:Delegation by the head of a government institution

 The head of a government institution may, by order, designate one or more officers or employees of that institution to exercise or perform any of the powers, duties or functions of the head of the institution under this Act that are specified in the order.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “73”.
Marginal note:Protection from civil proceeding or from prosecution

 Notwithstanding any other Act of Parliament, no civil or criminal proceedings lie against the head of any government institution, or against any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the head of a government institution, and no proceedings lie against the Crown or any government institution, for the disclosure in good faith of any personal information pursuant to this Act, for any consequences that flow from that disclosure, or for the failure to give any notice required under this Act if reasonable care is taken to give the required notice.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “74”.
Marginal note:Permanent review of this Act by Parliamentary committee
  •  (1) The administration of this Act shall be reviewed on a permanent basis by such committee of the House of Commons, of the Senate or of both Houses of Parliament as may be designated or established by Parliament for that purpose.

  • Marginal note:Review and report to Parliament

    (2) The committee designated or established by Parliament for the purpose of subsection (1) shall, not later than July 1, 1986, undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act, and shall, within a year after the review is undertaken or within such further time as the House of Commons may authorize, submit a report to Parliament thereon including a statement of any changes the committee would recommend.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “75”.
Marginal note:Binding on Crown

 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “76”.
Marginal note:Regulations
  •  (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations

    • (a) specifying government institutions or parts of government institutions for the purpose of paragraph (e) of the definition personal information in section 3;

    • (b) prescribing the period of time for which any class of personal information is to be retained under subsection 6(1);

    • (c) prescribing the circumstances and the manner in which personal information under the control of a government institution is to be disposed of under subsection 6(3);

    • (d) specifying investigative bodies for the purposes of paragraph 8(2)(e) and sections 22 and 23;

    • (e) prescribing the circumstances in which and the conditions under which personal information may be disclosed under subsection 8(3);

    • (f) prescribing the period of time for which copies of requests received under paragraph 8(2)(e) and records of information disclosed pursuant to the requests are to be retained under subsection 8(4);

    • (g) specifying persons or bodies for the purpose of paragraph 8(2)(h);

    • (h) prescribing procedures to be followed in making and responding to a request for access to personal information under paragraph 12(1)(a) or (b);

    • (i) prescribing procedures to be followed by an individual or a government institution where the individual requests under subsection 12(2) a correction of personal information or a notation of a correction requested, including the period of time within which the correction or notation must be made;

    • (j) prescribing any fees, or the manner of calculating any fees, to be paid for being given access to personal information requested under subsection 12(1) or for the making of copies of such personal information;

    • (k) prescribing the procedures to be followed by the Privacy Commissioner and any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Privacy Commissioner in examining or obtaining copies of records relevant to an investigation of a complaint in respect of a refusal to disclose personal information under paragraph 19(1)(a) or (b) or section 21;

    • (l) specifying classes of investigations for the purpose of paragraph 22(3)(c);

    • (m) prescribing the class of individuals who may act on behalf of minors, incompetents, deceased persons or any other individuals under this Act and regulating the manner in which any rights or actions of individuals under this Act may be exercised or performed on their behalf;

    • (n) authorizing the disclosure of information relating to the physical or mental health of individuals to duly qualified medical practitioners or psychologists in order to determine whether disclosure of the information would be contrary to the best interests of the individuals, and prescribing any procedures to be followed or restrictions deemed necessary with regard to the disclosure and examination of the information; and

    • (o) prescribing special procedures for giving individuals access under subsection 12(1) to personal information relating to their physical or mental health and regulating the way in which that access is given.

  • Marginal note:Additions to schedule

    (2) The Governor in Council may, by order, amend the schedule by adding thereto any department, ministry of state, body or office of the Government of Canada.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “77”.
 
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