Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Search

Privacy Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. P-21)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2021-11-17 and last amended on 2021-08-12. Previous Versions

Review by the Federal Court (continued)

Marginal note:Costs

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), the costs of and incidental to all proceedings in the Court under this Act shall be in the discretion of the Court and shall follow the event unless the Court orders otherwise.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) Where the Court is of the opinion that an application for review under section 41 or 42 has raised an important new principle in relation to this Act, the Court shall order that costs be awarded to the applicant even if the applicant has not been successful in the result.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “52”

Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Privacy Commissioner

Marginal note:Appointment

  •  (1) The Governor in Council shall, by commission under the Great Seal, appoint a Privacy Commissioner after consultation with the leader of every recognized party in the Senate and House of Commons and approval of the appointment by resolution of the Senate and House of Commons.

  • Marginal note:Tenure

    (2) Subject to this section, the Privacy Commissioner holds office during good behaviour for a term of seven years, but may be removed for cause by the Governor in Council at any time on address of the Senate and House of Commons.

  • Marginal note:Further terms

    (3) The Privacy Commissioner, on the expiration of a first or any subsequent term of office, is eligible to be re-appointed for a further term not exceeding seven years.

  • Marginal note:Interim appointment

    (4) In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Privacy Commissioner, or if that office is vacant, the Governor in Council may appoint any qualified person to hold that office in the interim for a term not exceeding six months, and that person shall, while holding office, be paid the salary or other remuneration and expenses that may be fixed by the Governor in Council.

  • R.S., 1985, c. P-21, s. 53
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 118

Marginal note:Rank, powers and duties generally

  •  (1) The Privacy Commissioner shall rank as and have all the powers of a deputy head of a department, shall engage exclusively in the duties of the office of Privacy Commissioner under this Act or any other Act of Parliament and shall not hold any other office under Her Majesty for reward or engage in any other employment for reward.

  • Marginal note:Salary and expenses

    (2) The Privacy Commissioner shall be paid a salary equal to the salary of a judge of the Federal Court, other than the Chief Justice, and is entitled to be paid reasonable travel and living expenses incurred in the performance of duties under this Act or any other Act of Parliament.

  • Marginal note:Pension benefits

    (3) The provisions of the Public Service Superannuation Act, other than those relating to tenure of office, apply to the Privacy Commissioner, except that a person appointed as Privacy Commissioner from outside the public service, as defined in the Public Service Superannuation Act, may, by notice in writing given to the President of the Treasury Board not more than sixty days after the date of appointment, elect to participate in the pension plan provided in the Diplomatic Service (Special) Superannuation Act, in which case the provisions of that Act, other than those relating to tenure of office, apply to the Privacy Commissioner from the date of appointment and the provisions of the Public Service Superannuation Act do not apply.

  • Marginal note:Other benefits

    (4) The Privacy Commissioner is deemed to be employed in the public service of Canada for the purposes of the Government Employees Compensation Act and any regulations made under section 9 of the Aeronautics Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. P-21, s. 54
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 160
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 225(E)

Marginal note:Information Commissioner may be appointed as Privacy Commissioner

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may appoint as Privacy Commissioner under section 53 the Information Commissioner appointed under the Access to Information Act.

  • Marginal note:Salary

    (2) In the event that the Information Commissioner is appointed in accordance with subsection (1) as Privacy Commissioner, the Privacy Commissioner shall, notwithstanding subsection 54(2), be paid the salary of the Information Commissioner but not the salary of the Privacy Commissioner.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “55”

Assistant Privacy Commissioner

Marginal note:Appointment of Assistant Privacy Commissioner

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Privacy Commissioner, appoint one or more Assistant Privacy Commissioners.

  • Marginal note:Tenure of office and removal of Assistant Privacy Commissioner

    (2) Subject to this section, an Assistant Privacy Commissioner holds office during good behaviour for a term not exceeding five years.

  • Marginal note:Further terms

    (3) An Assistant Privacy Commissioner, on the expiration of a first or any subsequent term of office, is eligible to be re-appointed for a further term not exceeding five years.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “56”
  • 1984, c. 40, s. 79(E)

Marginal note:Duties generally

  •  (1) An Assistant Privacy Commissioner shall engage exclusively in such duties or functions of the office of the Privacy Commissioner under this Act or any other Act of Parliament as are delegated by the Privacy Commissioner to that Assistant Privacy Commissioner and shall not hold any other office under Her Majesty for reward or engage in any other employment for reward.

  • Marginal note:Salary and expenses

    (2) An Assistant Privacy Commissioner is entitled to be paid a salary to be fixed by the Governor in Council and such travel and living expenses incurred in the performance of duties under this Act or any other Act of Parliament as the Privacy Commissioner considers reasonable.

  • Marginal note:Pension benefits

    (3) The provisions of the Public Service Superannuation Act, other than those relating to tenure of office, apply to an Assistant Privacy Commissioner.

  • Marginal note:Other benefits

    (4) An Assistant Privacy Commissioner is deemed to be employed in the public service of Canada for the purposes of the Government Employees Compensation Act and any regulations made under section 9 of the Aeronautics Act.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “57”

Staff

Marginal note:Staff of the Privacy Commissioner

  •  (1) Such officers and employees as are necessary to enable the Privacy Commissioner to perform the duties and functions of the Commissioner under this Act or any other Act of Parliament shall be appointed in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act.

  • Marginal note:Technical assistance

    (2) The Privacy Commissioner may engage on a temporary basis the services of persons having technical or specialized knowledge of any matter relating to the work of the Commissioner to advise and assist the Commissioner in the performance of the duties and functions of the Commissioner under this Act or any other Act of Parliament and, with the approval of the Treasury Board, may fix and pay the remuneration and expenses of such persons.

  • R.S., 1985, c. P-21, s. 58
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 185(F)

Delegation

Marginal note:Delegation by Privacy Commissioner

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Privacy Commissioner may authorize any person to exercise or perform, subject to such restrictions or limitations as the Commissioner may specify, any of the powers, duties or functions of the Commissioner under this Act except

    • (a) in any case other than a delegation to an Assistant Privacy Commissioner, the power to delegate under this section; and

    • (b) in any case, the powers, duties or functions set out in sections 38 and 39.

  • Marginal note:Delegations of investigations relating to international affairs and defence

    (2) The Privacy Commissioner may not, nor may an Assistant Privacy Commissioner, delegate

    • (a) the investigation of any complaint resulting from a refusal by the head of a government institution to disclose personal information by reason of paragraph 19(1)(a) or (b) or section 21, or

    • (b) the investigation under section 36 of files contained in a personal information bank designated under section 18 as an exempt bank on the basis of personal information described in section 21

    except to one of a maximum of four officers or employees of the Commissioner specifically designated by the Commissioner for the purpose of conducting those investigations.

  • Marginal note:Delegation by Assistant Privacy Commissioner

    (3) An Assistant Privacy Commissioner may authorize any person to exercise or perform, subject to such restrictions or limitations as the Assistant Privacy Commissioner may specify, any of the powers, duties or functions of the Privacy Commissioner under this Act that the Assistant Privacy Commissioner is authorized by the Privacy Commissioner to exercise or perform.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “59”

Special Studies

Marginal note:Special studies

  •  (1) The Privacy Commissioner shall carry out or cause to be carried out such studies as may be referred to the Commissioner by the Minister of Justice

    • (a) relating to the privacy of individuals,

    • (b) concerning the extension of the rights to which individuals are entitled under this Act in respect of personal information about themselves, and

    • (c) relating to the collection, retention, disposal, use or disclosure of personal information by persons or bodies, other than government institutions, that come within the legislative authority of Parliament,

    and the Privacy Commissioner shall report thereon to the Minister of Justice from time to time.

  • Marginal note:Reports to be tabled

    (2) The Minister of Justice shall cause each report by the Privacy Commissioner under subsection (1) to be laid before Parliament on any of the first fifteen days after receipt thereof that either House of Parliament is sitting.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “60”

General

Marginal note:Principal office

 The principal office of the Privacy Commissioner shall be in the National Capital Region described in the schedule to the National Capital Act.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “61”

Marginal note:Security requirements

 The Privacy Commissioner and every person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Commissioner who receives or obtains information relating to any investigation under this Act or any other Act of Parliament shall, with respect to access to and the use of that information, satisfy any security requirements applicable to, and take any oath of secrecy required to be taken by, persons who normally have access to and use of that information.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “62”

Marginal note:Confidentiality

 Subject to this Act, the Privacy Commissioner and every person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Commissioner shall not disclose any information that comes to their knowledge in the performance of their duties and functions under this Act.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “63”

Marginal note:Disclosure authorized

  •  (1) The Privacy Commissioner may disclose or may authorize any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Commissioner to disclose information

    • (a) that, in the opinion of the Commissioner, is necessary to

      • (i) carry out an investigation under this Act, or

      • (ii) establish the grounds for findings and recommendations contained in any report under this Act; or

    • (b) in the course of a prosecution for an offence under this Act, a prosecution for an offence under section 131 of the Criminal Code (perjury) in respect of a statement made under this Act or a review before the Court under this Act or Part 1 of the Access to Information Act or an appeal from a review of that Court.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure of offence authorized

    (2) The Privacy Commissioner may disclose to the Attorney General of Canada information relating to the commission of an offence against a law of Canada or a province by a director, an officer or an employee of a government institution if, in the Commissioner’s opinion, there is evidence of such an offence.

  • Marginal note:Provision of information

    (3) The Privacy Commissioner may disclose or may authorize any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Commissioner to disclose — to the extent that the Commissioner or the authorized person, as the case may be, considers necessary for the purpose of subsection 37(5) — information concerning the Commissioner’s activities under subsection 37(1) to the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency.

Marginal note:Information not to be disclosed

 In carrying out an investigation under this Act, in notifying an individual of a disclosure under subsection 8(5) and in any report made to Parliament under section 38 or 39, the Privacy Commissioner and every person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Privacy Commissioner shall take every reasonable precaution to avoid the disclosure of, and shall not disclose,

  • (a) any information that the head of a government institution would be authorized to refuse to disclose if it were requested under subsection 12(1) or contained in a record requested under the Access to Information Act; or

  • (b) any information as to whether personal information exists where the head of a government institution, in refusing to disclose the personal information under this Act, does not indicate whether it exists.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “65”

Marginal note:No summons

 The Privacy Commissioner or any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Commissioner is not a competent or compellable witness, in respect of any matter coming to the knowledge of the Commissioner or that person as a result of performing any duties or functions under this Act, in any proceeding other than a prosecution for an offence under this Act, a prosecution for an offence under section 131 of the Criminal Code (perjury) in respect of a statement made under this Act, a review before the Court under this Act or an appeal from a review of that Court.

Marginal note:For greater certainty

 For greater certainty, sections 63 and 66 apply if the Privacy Commissioner is consulted by the Information Commissioner under subsection 36(1.1) or section 36.2 of the Access to Information Act.

 
Date modified: