Filing A Privacy Complaint and or a Request for a Review of the decision concerning your Request
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Which Protection of Privacy Act Applies?
To make a formal complaint about an improper collection, use or disclosure of your personal information or a decision that was made by a government or private sector organization concerning your personal information request, you will need to determine if the target of your complaint is a government body or private sector organization. This will help to identify the appropriate legislation under which to file your complaint, which you should cite if submitting a complaint in writing. If you wish to use a fillable form for a complaint in British Columbia, you do not need to cite legislation - just be sure you complete and send the correct form.
Protection of Privacy Acts covering governments
The following links will take you to websites that provide the steps to make a complaint about (1) the misuse of your personal information and or (2) a decision that was made by a government concerning your personal information request.
Canada - for personal information held by the government of Canada and its institutions.
British Columbia - for personal information held by the provincial government or municipal governments and other public bodies in British Columbia.
If you are concerned about the way a public body collects, uses, discloses, retains or safeguards your personal information, you should first complain directly to the public body. If you have not given the public body an opportunity to respond to and attempt to resolve your complaint, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) will normally refer you back to the public body in the first instance before the office examines your complaint.
If you are dissatisfied with the response of the public body to your complaint, you may complain to the OIPC and please note, the OIPC does not accept complaints via e-mail. If you would like to use a fillable Adobe Acrobat form to complete and send a complaint to the OIPC about a Public Body please click here.
Personal Information Protection Acts covering the private sector
Personal information protection acts establish rules regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by private sector organizations. They also provide individuals with the right of access to their own personal information, the right to request it be corrected when it is incorrect, and the right to file a complaint about improper collection, use and disclosure of their personal information by private sector organizations or about a decision made by an organization concerning a personal information request.
At this time (September 2009), there are four personal information protection acts covering private sector organizations in Canada. To file a complaint, please click on the relevant link for information on the Act and for filing a complaint.
It is the BC Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioners (OIPC) policy to refer individuals back to the organization to try to resolve with the organization directly any disputes about how the individuals personal information is being treated by the organization.
If you are not satisfied with how the organization responded to your complaint, you may launch a formal complaint to the OIPC and please note that the OIPC does not accept complaints via e-mail. If you would like to use a fillable Adobe Acrobat form to complete and send a complaint to the OIPC about a Public Body please click here.
Privacy of Personal Health Information
The following provinces in Canada have enacted legislation to deal specifically with the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information by provincial health care organizations and other approved individuals and agencies. Use these links to inquire about or to file a complaint concerning personal health information: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.
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