Thursday, December 04, 2008

Privacy Commissioner of Canada 2007-2008 Annual Report to Parliament

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada today tabled her annual report to Parliament.

In the accompanying press release, the Office of the Commissioner explains:

"The Commissioner’s latest Annual Report to Parliament on the Privacy Act, which was tabled today, describes how privacy and security problems in Canada’s passport operations added up to a significant risk for Canadians applying for passports."

"The annual report also highlights the Commissioner’s concerns that the online posting of personal information by some federal administrative and quasi-judicial bodies does not strike the right balance between the public interest and privacy rights (...) "

"The Commissioner agreed that the 'open court' principle is an important part of Canada’s legal system, but noted there is a crucial distinction between the courts and the bodies the OPC investigated: The Privacy Act does not apply to the courts, but it does apply to many administrative tribunals and quasi-judicial bodies."

"In order to respect their obligations under the Privacy Act, the Commissioner recommended, among other steps, that the bodies reasonably depersonalize decisions posted online by replacing names with random initials. However, the Commissioner noted that, where there is a genuine and compelling public interest in such a disclosure, these bodies have the legal authority under the Act to exercise discretion in disclosing personal information."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:46 pm


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