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Privacy Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. P-21)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2019-07-01 and last amended on 2019-06-21. Previous Versions

Office of the Privacy Commissioner (continued)

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.

  • R.S., 1985, c. P-21, s. 64
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 187
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 186
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 52

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.

  • R.S., 1985, c. P-21, s. 66
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 187
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 53

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.

  • 2019, c. 18, s. 53

Marginal note:Protection of Privacy Commissioner

  •  (1) No criminal or civil proceedings lie against the Privacy Commissioner, or against any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Commissioner, for anything done, reported or said in good faith in the course of the exercise or performance or purported exercise or performance of any power, duty or function of the Commissioner under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Libel or slander

    (2) For the purposes of any law relating to libel or slander,

    • (a) anything said, any information supplied or any document or thing produced in good faith in the course of an investigation carried out by or on behalf of the Privacy Commissioner under this Act is privileged; and

    • (b) any report made in good faith by the Privacy Commissioner under this Act and any fair and accurate account of the report made in good faith in a newspaper or any other periodical publication or in a broadcast is privileged.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “67”

Offences

Marginal note:Obstruction

  •  (1) No person shall obstruct the Privacy Commissioner or any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Commissioner in the performance of the Commissioner’s duties and functions under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Offence and punishment

    (2) Every person who contravenes this section is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “68”
 
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