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International Conference of Information Commissioners Public Statement

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia supports the International Conference of Information Commissioners' (ICIC) public statement declaring access to information as a milestone of the digital age to guarantee human rights, the inclusion of groups in situations of vulnerability and the strengthening of democratic institutions in the 21st century. Read the full statement here: ICIC Public Statement

Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 22-12

An applicant sought information from the Halifax Regional Police (Police) about its involvement in Halifax Regional Municipality's removal of temporary tents and shelters in public parks on August 18, 2021. She submitted four access to information requests to the Police. The Police withheld all the requested information in full. The four different types of responsive records were entirely withheld based on one or more law enforcement exemptions (s. 475(1)(a), (c), (e)), or as personal information (s. 480), under the Municipal Government Act. The Police failed to meet its burden when it chose not to provide any representations on how the discretionary law enforcement exemptions applied. The Commissioner recommends disclosure of the requested records, with the exception of the personal identifiers of injured officers, which should continue to be withheld. She also recommends that the Police implement policies, procedures and training for any of its staff involved in the access to information review process with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. Read more...

Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 22-11

The Halifax Regional Police (Police) underwent an audit by KPMG to evaluate the state of its information technology security. The applicant sought a copy of the KPMG audit report and any correspondence about it. The Police withheld the records in full on the basis that releasing them would harm the security of its information technology system (s. 475(1)(k) of the Municipal Government Act). The Commissioner finds that some of the information can be withheld under s. 475(1)(k) but she recommends the Police reconsider its application in light of the requirement to apply discretion. The Commissioner finds that releasing some of the information on portions of the responsive records could not reasonably be expected to harm the system's security and so recommends its disclosure. Read more...

News Release

Privacy regulators call for legal framework limiting police use of facial recognition technology

GATINEAU, QC, May 2, 2022 -  The heads of Canada's privacy protection authorities today issued a joint statement recommending legislators develop a legal framework that establishes clearly and explicitely the circumstances in which police use of facial recognition may be acceptable. Read more...

Recommended legal framework for police agencies' use of facial recognition - Joint Statement by Federal, Provincial and Territorial Privacy Commissioners

Privacy Guidance on facial recognition for police agencies

Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 22-10

In 2016, the Auditor General of Nova Scotia conducted an audit of the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables (public body) concerning its mandate to implement the Endangered Species Act and produced an audit report. The applicant requested all records relating to commitments made by the public body in response to the report. The public body provided the applicant with access to records that were severed or withheld under s. 4A (conflict with another enactment), s. 14 (advice or recommendations), s. 17 (financial or economic interests) and s. 20 (personal information) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The Commissioner finds that s. 4A does not apply to the requested records and recommends that the public body reprocess the applicant's request where s. 4A was applied. She finds that s. 14(1) applies to some but not all of the requested records. Where s. 14(1) does not apply, she recommends disclosure. Where s. 14(1) does apply, she recommends that the public body reconsider its application in light of the requirement to apply discretion. The Commissioner finds that the public body failed to discharge its burden of establishing that s. 17(1)(b) or (d) applies and recommends disclosure of the records redacted pursuant solely to those sections. Finally, she finds that s. 20 applies to all the information severed pursuant to it except for the professional business contact information. She recommends the professional business contact information be disclosed. Read more...

Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 22-09

The applicant sought access to records he believed were exchanged between the New Glasgow Regional Police (Police) and a municipality, as well as any records pertaining to an investigation that may have occurred as a result of those exchanges. The Police disclosed some records but withheld others because it said they were not about the applicant and so outside the scope of the applicant's request. When the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner attempted to review these undisclosed records several years later, the Police discovered that they were now missing. Despite conducting another search, the Police was unable to locate this records. The Commissioner finds that the Police conducted an adequate search as required by s. 467 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA). However, she notes that the Police has inadequate practices to retain records that are subject to review and/or appeal. The Commissioner recommends that the Police review its policies and procedures related to access to information requests and then make the necessary adjustments so that any records related to these requests are retained until all reviews and appeals related to them are exhausted. Read more...

Department of Justice mandate includes amendment to Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Premier Houston's September 14, 2021 mandate letter to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice includes a requirement to amend the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPOP) to give order-making ability to Nova Scotia's Information and Privacy Commissioner:  September 14, 2021 Ministerial Mandate - Department of Justice and Attorney General

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner is willing to provide input and guidance to the government as it moves ahead with this amendment to FOIPOP, or any other important amendments the OIPC has recommended to modernize Nova Scotia's outdated access to information and privacy laws. 

New/Updated Publications Now Available

Graphic Novel - Social Smarts: Nothing Personal!

2022-2023 French-language Service Plan / Plan de services en français 2022-2023

Know Your Rights: Glossary of Privacy Terms (Personal Health Information Act)

Questions about Nova Scotia's Proof of Full Vaccination Policy

Know Your Rights: Missing Records?

Provincial Government Records - Which Office Do I Need? / Auprès de quel bureau dois-je me renseigner?

Connaissez vos droits - Comment faire une demande efficace d'accès à l'information