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Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 20-05

The applicant requested access to records about a youth she believed died while under the care of the Department of Community Services (Department). The Department refused to confirm or deny the existence of records responsive to the request, claiming that to do so would be an unreasonable invasion of a third party's personal privacy pursuant to s. 20 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPOP).

The Commissioner found that neither s. 7(2)(c) nor s. 20 authorized the Department to refuse to confirm or deny the existence of records. If records exist, the Commissioner recommended that the Department release the records to the applicant subject to the limited and specific exemptions in accordance with FOIPOP. Read more...


Investigation Report IR19-01 - Update on Recommendation Implementation

The Department of Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services has provided the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia with an update on the status of the implementation of recommendations made under Investigation Report IR19-01. The status update, effective September 9, 2020, is provided below:

IR19-01 Status Update on Recommendation Implementation - September 9, 2020


NEWS RELEASE

​For immediate release

​August 7, 2020

Privacy Commissioner initiates investigation into breach of patient privacy by Nova Scotia Health Authority employees

​HALIFAX - Information and Privacy Commissioner Tricia Ralph has launched an investigation following the recent disclosure of multiple instances of employees accessing medical records without valid reason at the Nova Scotia Health Authority.  Read more...


Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 20-04

​The applicant made a request for records about himself held by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS). The records were about charges filed against the applicant that were ultimately withdrawn. The PPS provided some of the requested information but redacted some information and withheld a number of documents in full, citing prosecutorial discretion under s. 15(1)(f) and unreasonable invasion of third parties' privacy under s. 20 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPOP).

​The records at issue were compiled by Crown prosecutors for the conduct of a trial. The trial never occurred as the charges were withdrawn. The nature and purpose of the records allows a large portion of the information to be withheld because of the exemption for prosecutorial discretion in s. 15(1)(f). However, the Commissioner finds that this does not allow the public body to withhold in full as much information as it has. The Commissioner concludes that FOIPOP requires the PPS to disclose portions of the records after information exempted from disclosure is removed from the records.

​With regard to s. 20, much of the information was protected by the exemption for unreasonable invasion of third parties' privacy. The Commissioner concludes that witness names and statements are protected from disclosure. However, names and business phone numbers of police acting in their professional capacity are not protected from disclosure and should be released to the applicant. Read more...


Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 20-03

​The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture has failed to issue a decision in response to an access to information request to the applicant within the legislated time period required by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The applicant appealed to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia. The reason for the delay is that the Deputy Minister has not signed off on the access to information decision. The Commissioner has found that the Department is in violation of s. 7 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and recommends a decision be issued immediately and the fees paid be refunded.  Read more...


NEWS RELEASE

​For immediate release

​July 15, 2020

Nova Scotia's Information and Privacy Commissioner releases 2019-2020 Annual Report

​HALIFAX - Today, Tricia Ralph, Nova Scotia's Information and Privacy Commissioner, released her annual report for 2019-2020.

The Commissioner once again calls for modernization of the legislation. "Updates to the legislation are urgently needed. Work is required to implement modern legislation that can better protect the access and privacy rights of Nova Scotians," says Commissioner Ralph. Nova Scotia was an early adopter of access and privacy legislation but it has fallen behind its counterparts in other Canadian jurisdictions. The annual report outlines review files and inquiries from the past year that show the ongoing impact of the failure to implement past recommendations to improve Nova Scotia's access and privacy laws. Read more...

2019-2020 OIPC Annual Report


The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia supports the International Conference of Information Commissioners' (ICIC) public statements concerning public bodies' obligations regarding access to information requests during a global pandemic. Read the full statements below:


NEWS RELEASE

For immediate release

May 7, 2020

Joint statement by federal, provincial and territorial privacy commissioners regarding the use of contact tracing and similar apps to address covid-19

HALIFAX - In an effort to combat the spread of covid-19, government and public health authorities are looking for novel ways to use technologies to limit the pandemic. One of the tools being considered is contact tracing applications. These tools are not without risks to the right to privacy. The issues contact tracing or similar apps raise must be carefully considered before such tools are implemented. Read more...

Joint Statement:  Supporting public health, building public trust: Privacy principles for contact tracing and similar apps


Nova Scotia's Information and Privacy Commissioner's statement on COVID-19

Nova Scotia's access and privacy laws are designed to protect people's privacy but also to share information where public bodies determine that compelling circumstances exist that affect anyone's health or safety.  Read more...


Acting Information and Privacy Commissioner releases public awareness tool coinciding with release of Review Report

​NEWS RELEASE - Halifax ​- The public awareness tool Protect Against Phishing has been published today to coincide with the public release of Review Report 20-02 to draw attention to the serious threat phishing presents. Phishing is when an attacker sends a fake message to try to get the recipient to give out sensitive information like a username and password.  Read more...


New Information & Privacy Commissioner (Review Officer) Appointed

NEWS RELEASE - Halifax - Nova Scotia's Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner welcomes the news of Tricia Ralph's appointment to fill the role of Review Officer under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Part XX of the Municipal Government Act, the Privacy Review Officer Act, and the Personal Health Information ActRead more...


Atlantic Information and Privacy Commissioners highlight implications of facial recognition technology

NEWS RELEASE - Halifax, January 28, 2020 - Data Privacy Day or Data Protection Day is recognized on January 28 by provinces and territories across Canada and countries around the world. It is an internationally recognized day dedicated to creating awareness about the importance of protecting personal information.  Read more...

Backgrounder: The Facts About Facial Recognition


New/Updated Publications Now Available

Breach Notification Form to Report Under s. 70 of Personal Health Informaton Act

Know Your Rights Glossary: Access to Personal Health Information Terms (PHIA) 

Infographic: How to Make an Access to Information Request

Protect Against Phishing - Technology Fact Sheet

Know Your Rights: How to Make an Effective Access to Information Request

Know Your Rights Glossary: Review Request Terms

Guidelines - PHIA Disclosures to Researchers (s. 57)

PHIA Disclosure to Researcher Notification Form (s. 57)

Reporting Breaches Guide - s. 70 of Personal Health Information Act