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Don't gift your personal information to corporations!  The Information and Privacy Commissioner is reminding Nova Scotians to read the company's privacy policy before buying any "smart" gifts.

​Read her Naughty List here:  The Commissioner's Naughty List


News Release

For immediate release

November 14, 2018

Democracy in the Digital Age - Nova Scotia's Information and Privacy Commissioner releases 2017-2018 Annual Report

HALIFAX - Today, Catherine Tully, Nova Scotia's Information and Privacy Commissioner, released her annual report for 2017-2018.  "The growing prevalence of fake news and the use of unregulated personal data create serious challenges for our democracy," says Commissioner Tully.  "Citizens need a reliable source of information about their government in order to actively participate in democracy.  The integrity of our democratic institutions also requires that privacy laws are capable of protecting our personal information in the digital age."  Read more...

2017-2018 OIPC Annual Report


Media Advisory

​November 13, 2018

Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia to release 2017-2018 Annual Report

​HALIFAX - On Wednesday, November 14, at 9:00 a.m., Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia Catherine Tully will release the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia's 2017-2018 Annual Report.

Read more...


Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 18-10

In December 2015, the Waterfront Development Corporation Limited issued a call for proposals in relation to a Halifax waterfront business opportunity - a waterfront beer garden.  In response to a request for copies of the submissions, the Waterfront Development Corporation Limited relied on two harms-based exemptions to withhold most of the information from successful and unsuccessful bid proposals and from the final bid evaluation sheet.  Neither the third parties nor the public body provided any evidence or submissions in support of their positions that information should be withheld.  Public accountability in the expenditure of public funds goes to the heart of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act's purposes and is an important reason behind the need for detailed and convincing evidence for withholding information.  Since there is no evidence to support the public body's decision to withhold information, the Commissioner recommends full disclosure of the requested records.  To assist public bodies with the third party notice process, the Commissioner lays out the necessary steps to follow in giving third party notice.  Read more...


Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 18-09

The purpose for the advice or recommendations exemption is to preserve an effective and neutral public service so as to permit public servants to provide full, free and frank advice.  In this case, the Commissioner determines that the Department of Justice properly applied this exemption to a discrete piece of policy advice.  The Department also withheld portions of the records under the solicitor-client privilege exemption.  The Commissioner applies the test for legal advice privilege to the withheld records and determines that all four requirements are met.  She determines therefore that the records were appropriately withheld under the solicitor-client privilege exemption.  Read more... 


Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 18-08

Canadian courts have made clear that the purpose of the policy advice exemption is to preserve an effective and neutral public service so as to permit public servants to provide full, free and frank advice.  In order for the exemption to apply, there must be a deliberative or evaluative process and the withheld advice must involve an evaluative analysis of information.  In this case, the public body withheld cost estimates for sterilization equipment replacement.  The Commissioner determines that the nature of the withheld information is factual on its face.  The nature of the records in which the information is found is likewise factual and not accompanied by options or analysis demonstrating skill or judgement.  She recommends that the withheld information be disclosed in full.  Read more...


Response to Review Report 18-05

Review Report 18-05 indicated we would publish the Department's response to the recommendations made by the Commissioner.  The response is available here.

Letter from Department of Health and Wellness


Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 18-07

In this modern world of ubiquitous information it can be very challenging for a public body to determine whether or not information it holds can, in combination with other readily available information, be turned from non-identifiable to identifiable.  The applicant sought release of a spreadsheet providing information regarding funded salaries for each nursing home and residential care facility in Nova Scotia.  The Department aggregated the data, releasing only funded salaries by position types and not by facility.  While the original spreadsheet did not contain any names, the Department argued that, in combination with publicly available information, the spreadsheet could potentially disclose individual salary amounts.  The Commissioner determines that although wage ranges can be gleaned from the record, the evidence does not support a finding that the salaries set out in the original spreadsheet accurately reflect salaries paid.  The Commissioner determines that disclosing the original spreadsheet would not result in the unreasonable invasion of a third party's personal privacy but would result in greater transparency regarding the funding decisions of the Department.  The Commissioner recommends full disclosure of the original spreadsheet.  Read more...


Canada's Access to Information and Privacy Guardians Call for Privacy Regulation and Oversight of Political Parties

Regina, SK, September 17, 2018​ - In a joint resolution, Canada's Information and Privacy Ombudspersons and Commissioners have called on governments to pass legislation requiring political parties to comply with globally recognized privacy principles, to provide Canadians with access to the personal information they hold about them, and to provide for independent oversight to verify and enforce privacy compliance.                   Read more... / Communiqué

Joint Resolution: Securing Trust and Privacy in Canada's Electoral Process / Assurer la confiance et la confidentialité dans le processus électoral du Canada


Responses to Investigation Reports IR18-01 and IR18-02

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia has received responses to the recommendations made in investigation reports IR18-01 and IR18-02 from the Department of Health and Wellness and Sobeys National Pharmacy Group.  A summary of those responses and copies of the letters received are provided below.

OIPC Summary of Responses to IR18-01 and IR18-02 Recommendations

Letter from Department of Health and Wellness

Letter from Sobeys National Pharmacy Group


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