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Protection of Privacy

Protecting Your Privacy

What are my privacy rights under the Act?

The Act contains rules that a public body must follow when it wants to collect, use, or disclose your personal information. These rules are your privacy rights under the Act. For example:



A public body may only collect your personal information if it has the legal authority to collect it, if the information is for law enforcement purposes, or if it is necessary for one of the public body's operating programs.

A public body must tell you the purpose for collecting your personal information, the legal authority for collecting it, and provide you with the title, business address and business telephone number of an officer or employee who can answer your questions about the collection.



A public body may use your personal information only for the purpose for which it was collected, for a consistent purpose, with your consent, or for one of the specified purposes in sections 37, 39, or 40 of the Act, such as research or law enforcement.

A public body may use personal information only to the extent necessary to enable the public body to carry out its purposes in a reasonable manner.



A public body may only disclose your personal information to others for the purpose it was collected, for a consistent purpose, with your consent, or for one of the specified purposes in section 37 of the Act, such as research or law enforcement.


Other Fair Information Practices

A public body must make every reasonable effort to ensure that your personal information in its records is accurate and complete.

If you believe there is an error or omission in your personal information, you may request a correction.  A public body must then correct your personal information, or, if no correction is made, the Public Body must make a note beside the information detailing the correction you requested.

Within 30 days after the request is received, the head of the public body shall give written notice to the individual that the correction has been made, or that an annotation or linkage has been made.

When correcting, annotating, or linking personal information, the head of a public body shall notify any other public body or any third party to whom that information has been disclosed during the one-year period before the correction was requested, that a correction, annotation, or linkage has been made.

A public body must also make reasonable security arrangements to protect your personal information from unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, disposal or destruction.


What if I think my privacy rights are not being protected by a public body?

If you beleive that your privacy rights are not being protected by a public body, contact the Commissioner's office, in writing, with the details of your complaint, and include the name of the public body and as many details as possible.  The Commissioner's office may investigate.


Is there a fee to make a privacy complaint?

There is no fee for making a privacy complaint to the Commissioner's office.


How is a privacy complaint dealt with?

The Commissioner will contact you to discuss your complaint.  The Commissioner will also contact the public body and attempt to resolve the complaint between the two parties.  The Commissioner will carry out an investigation, seeking submissions from both you and the public body.  If the Commissioner finds that a public body has violated your privacy rights, the Commissioner may recommend the public body change the way it collects, uses, discloses or secures your personal information.

If your complaint raises issues affecting the privacy rights of a significant number of people, the Commissioner may issue an order recommending the public body to stop collecting, using or disclosing personal information in a way that violaties Part II of the Act, or that the public body destroy the personal information that was collected in violation of the Act.

If the findings of the Commissioner's investigation do not support your complaint, the Commissioner may dismiss it.


Are there exceptions to my privacy rights under the Act?

Although you can expect a public body to protect the privacy of your personal information, under certain circumstances it has the authority to release your information to others, such as for law enforcement purposes, or to protect someone else's health and safety.  The public body may also refuse to disclose your own personal information to you, if the disclosure could reasonably be expected to result in harm to your health or safety, or threaten anyone else's health or safety.


Is there any compensation for a violation of my privacy rights under the Act?

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act does not provide for compensation for a violation of privacy. 


If you have any further questions regarding access to information, protection of privacy and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, you may contact the staff of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner at:

Office of the Information and Privacy
Commissioner for Prince Edward Island

J. Angus MacLean Building
Second Floor, 180 Richmond Street
P.O. Box 2000
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, C1A 7N8
Telephone: (902) 368-4099
Facsimile: (902) 368-5947

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