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For immediate release

August 1, 2018

Commissioner's investigation identifies critical vulnerabilities in the e-health system

HALIFAX - In two privacy breach investigation reports issued today, Catherine Tully, Nova Scotia's Information and Privacy Commissioner, determines that monitoring of electronic personal health information databases is a critical vulnerability in the province.  As a result, intrusion into the private lives of patients is a real and present danger.  Read more...

Read Investigation Report IR18-01

Read Investigation Report IR18-02


July 31, 2018

N.S. Information and Privacy Commissioner to release two investigation reports concerning privacy breaches of the Nova Scotia Drug Information System

HALIFAX - On Wednesday, August 1, 2018, at 10:00 a.m., Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia Catherine Tully will release two investigation reports concerning privacy breaches of the provincial Drug Information System.  Read more...

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia has developed Best Practice Do's and Don'ts to help you create and keep your passwords secure.

Best Password Practices 

Meilleures pratiques pour les mots de passe

Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 18-02

In response to a request for records relating to the decision to cancel an expansion of an adult residential centre, the Department of Community Services (Department) provided a confusing collection of documents.  Many of the documents were emails without attachments with no explanation for their removal.  Versions of the same documents were severed differently and sometimes had different exemptions applied to the same information.  Public bodies have a duty to respond openly, accurately and completely.  The Department's inconsistent approach and its failure to clearly identify exemptions under the law resulted in the applicant believing the Department was "blatently hiding information".  The Commissioner recommends that the Department release significantly more information where the Department has failed to meet its burden of proving that exemptions apply.  The Commissioner further recommends that the Department revisit its exercise of discretion and consider releasing more information.  Finally, the Commissioner recommends that the Department provide the applicant with a clearly paginated, consistently severed and labelled response package.   Read more...

Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 18-01

Broad general assertions of harm will not satisfy the burden of establishing that the disclosure of the particular information at issue could reasonably be expected to harm the security of a system.  On that basis, the Commissioner recommends full disclosure of a video inspection report relating to underground sewer and storm pipes.  Read more... 

Couldn't make it to the Open Government event last week to hear Michael Karanicolas speak?  Review the presentation here:

Open Government Presentation

Smart Cities - Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia joins federal, provincial and territorial colleagues in a call to assess privacy risks of the Smart Cities Challenge

On April 24th, Commissioner Tully, along with her colleagues, sent a letter to the federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities to urge him to take proactive steps to ensure the privacy and security of personal information is considered in the selection, design and implementation of the winning proposals in Infrastructure Canada's Smart Cities Challenge. 

Read the letter: English / French

What We Do

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner is an impartial oversight body - like the Ombudsman or the Auditor General.  Under Nova Scotia's privacy laws, the Privacy Commissioner is responsible for investigating privacy complaints, hearing appeals of government decisions relating to access to information requests and providing public education sessions.

What We Do Not Do

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner does not process access to information requests for government.  We are not responsible for the FOIPOP database that is the subject of the recent privacy breach reports.  That database is held by a government department - the Department of Internal Services.  We do not have authority to lay criminal charges and we are not responsible for making decisions about the prosecution of criminal offences.  We have publicly announced our investigation of government in relation to this privacy breach incident.

New/Updated Publications Now Available

Best Password Practices / Meilleures pratiques pour le mots de passe

Big Data Guidelines for Nova Scotia

A Citizen's Guide to Big Data and Your Privacy Rights in Nova Scotia

A Citizen's Guide to Access and Privacy Rights in Nova Scotia / Guide du citoyen sur les droits à l'accès à l'information et à la protection de la vie privée en Nouvelle-Écosse

Guidance for the Use of Criminal Record Checks by Health Profession Regulating Bodies

PHIA - Disclosures Without Express Consent

Video Surveillance Guidelines

Video Surveillance Policy Template

Access & Privacy - A Councillor's Guide