Privacy Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. P-21)

Act current to 2016-01-25 and last amended on 2015-07-30. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Information obtained by Privacy Commissioner
  •  (1) The Privacy Commissioner shall refuse to disclose any personal information requested under this Act that was obtained or created by the Commissioner or on the Commissioner’s behalf in the course of an investigation conducted by, or under the authority of, the Commissioner.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) However, the Commissioner shall not refuse under subsection (1) to disclose any personal information that was created by the Commissioner or on the Commissioner’s behalf in the course of an investigation conducted by, or under the authority of, the Commissioner once the investigation and all related proceedings, if any, are finally concluded.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 183.
Marginal note:Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

 The Public Sector Integrity Commissioner shall refuse to disclose any personal information requested under subsection 12(1) that was obtained or created by him or her or on his or her behalf in the course of an investigation into a disclosure made under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act or an investigation commenced under section 33 of that Act.

  • 2005, c. 46, s. 58.
Marginal note:Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act

 The head of a government institution shall refuse to disclose personal information requested under subsection 12(1) that was created for the purpose of making a disclosure under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act or in the course of an investigation into a disclosure under that Act.

  • 2005, c. 46, s. 58.
Marginal note:Security clearances

 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any personal information requested under subsection 12(1) that was obtained or prepared by an investigative body specified in the regulations for the purpose of determining whether to grant security clearances

  • (a) required by the Government of Canada or a government institution in respect of individuals employed by or performing services for the Government of Canada or a government institution, individuals employed by or performing services for a person or body performing services for the Government of Canada or a government institution, individuals seeking to be so employed or seeking to perform those services, or

  • (b) required by the government of a province or a foreign state or an institution thereof,

if disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to reveal the identity of the individual who furnished the investigative body with the information.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “23”.
Marginal note:Individuals sentenced for an offence

 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any personal information requested under subsection 12(1) that was collected or obtained by the Correctional Service of Canada or the Parole Board of Canada while the individual who made the request was under sentence for an offence against any Act of Parliament, if the disclosure could reasonably be expected to

  • (a) lead to a serious disruption of the individual’s institutional, parole or statutory release program; or

  • (b) reveal information about the individual originally obtained on a promise of confidentiality, express or implied.

  • R.S., 1985, c. P-21, s. 24;
  • 1994, c. 26, s. 56;
  • 2012, c. 1, s. 160.
Marginal note:Safety of individuals

 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any personal information requested under subsection 12(1) the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to threaten the safety of individuals.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “25”.

Personal Information

Marginal note:Information about another individual

 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any personal information requested under subsection 12(1) about an individual other than the individual who made the request, and shall refuse to disclose such information where the disclosure is prohibited under section 8.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “26”.

Solicitor-Client Privilege

Marginal note:Solicitor-client privilege

 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any personal information requested under subsection 12(1) that is subject to solicitor-client privilege.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “27”.

Medical Records

Marginal note:Medical record

 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any personal information requested under subsection 12(1) that relates to the physical or mental health of the individual who requested it where the examination of the information by the individual would be contrary to the best interests of the individual.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “28”.

Complaints

Marginal note:Receipt and investigation of complaints
  •  (1) Subject to this Act, the Privacy Commissioner shall receive and investigate complaints

    • (a) from individuals who allege that personal information about themselves held by a government institution has been used or disclosed otherwise than in accordance with section 7 or 8;

    • (b) from individuals who have been refused access to personal information requested under subsection 12(1);

    • (c) from individuals who allege that they are not being accorded the rights to which they are entitled under subsection 12(2) or that corrections of personal information requested under paragraph 12(2)(a) are being refused without justification;

    • (d) from individuals who have requested access to personal information in respect of which a time limit has been extended pursuant to section 15 where they consider the extension unreasonable;

    • (e) from individuals who have not been given access to personal information in the official language requested by the individuals under subsection 17(2);

    • (e.1) from individuals who have not been given access to personal information in an alternative format pursuant to a request made under subsection 17(3);

    • (f) from individuals who have been required to pay a fee that they consider inappropriate;

    • (g) in respect of the index referred to in subsection 11(1); or

    • (h) in respect of any other matter relating to

      • (i) the collection, retention or disposal of personal information by a government institution,

      • (ii) the use or disclosure of personal information under the control of a government institution, or

      • (iii) requesting or obtaining access under subsection 12(1) to personal information.

  • Marginal note:Complaints submitted on behalf of complainants

    (2) Nothing in this Act precludes the Privacy Commissioner from receiving and investigating complaints of a nature described in subsection (1) that are submitted by a person authorized by the complainant to act on behalf of the complainant, and a reference to a complainant in any other section includes a reference to a person so authorized.

  • Marginal note:Privacy Commissioner may initiate complaint

    (3) Where the Privacy Commissioner is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to investigate a matter under this Act, the Commissioner may initiate a complaint in respect thereof.

  • R.S., 1985, c. P-21, s. 29;
  • 1992, c. 21, s. 37.
Marginal note:Written complaint

 A complaint under this Act shall be made to the Privacy Commissioner in writing unless the Commissioner authorizes otherwise.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “30”.

Investigations

Marginal note:Notice of intention to investigate

 Before commencing an investigation of a complaint under this Act, the Privacy Commissioner shall notify the head of the government institution concerned of the intention to carry out the investigation and shall inform the head of the institution of the substance of the complaint.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “31”.
Marginal note:Regulation of procedure

 Subject to this Act, the Privacy Commissioner may determine the procedure to be followed in the performance of any duty or function of the Commissioner under this Act.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “32”.
Marginal note:Investigations in private
  •  (1) Every investigation of a complaint under this Act by the Privacy Commissioner shall be conducted in private.

  • Marginal note:Right to make representation

    (2) In the course of an investigation of a complaint under this Act by the Privacy Commissioner, the person who made the complaint and the head of the government institution concerned shall be given an opportunity to make representations to the Commissioner, but no one is entitled as of right to be present during, to have access to or to comment on representations made to the Commissioner by any other person.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “33”.
 
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