Policy on Privacy Protection

Provides direction to government institutions to ensure compliance with the Privacy Act.
Date modified: 2020-06-18

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administrative purpose (fins administratives)
Is the use of personal information about an individual "in a decision making process that directly affects that individual" (section 3). This includes all uses of personal information for confirming identity (i.e. authentication and verification purposes) and for determining eligibility of individuals for government programs.
annual report (rapport annuel)
Is a report submitted by the head of a government institution to Parliament on the administration of the Act during the financial year.
complainant (plaignant(e)
Is an individual who files a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner on any of the grounds set out in subsection 29(1) of the Act.
consistent use (usage compatible)
Is a use that has a reasonable and direct connection to the original purpose(s) for which the information was obtained or compiled. This means that the original purpose and the proposed purpose are so closely related that the individual would expect that the information would be used for the consistent purpose, even if the use is not spelled out.
data matching (couplage des données)
Is an activity involving the comparison of personal information from different sources, including sources within the same government institution, for administrative or non-administrative purposes. The data-matching activity that is established can be systematic or recurring. The data-matching activity can also be conducted on a periodic basis when deemed necessary. Under this policy, data matching includes the disclosure or sharing of personal information with another organization for data-matching purposes.
delegate (délégué)
Is an officer or employee of a government institution who has been delegated to exercise or perform the powers, duties and functions of the head of the institution under the Act.
designated minister (ministre désigné)
Is a person who is designated as the Minister under subsection 3.1(1). For the purposes of this policy, the designated minister is the President of the Treasury Board.
excluded information (renseignements exclus)
Is the information to which the Act does not apply as described in sections 69, 69.1, 70 and 70.1.
exempt bank (fichier inconsultable)
Is a personal information bank that describes files, all of which consist predominantly of personal information that relates to international affairs, defence, law enforcement and investigation, as outlined in sections 21 and 22 of the Act. The head of a government institution can refuse to disclose any personal information requested that is contained in an exempt bank.
exemption (exception)
Is a mandatory or discretionary provision under the Act that authorizes the head of the government institution to refuse to disclose information in response to a request received under the Act.
government institution (institution fédérale)
Is "any department or ministry of state of the Government of Canada, or any body or office, listed in the schedule; and, any parent Crown corporation, and any wholly-owned subsidiary of such a corporation, within the meaning of section 83 of the Financial Administration Act" (section 3). The term "government institution" does not include Ministers' Offices.
head (responsable)
Is the Minister, in the case of a department or ministry of state. In any other case, it is the person designated by the Privacy Act Heads of Government Institutions Designation Order. If no such person is designated, the chief executive officer of the government institution, whatever their title, is the head.
Implementation report (rapport de mise en oeuvre)
Is a notice issued by Treasury Board Secretariat to provide guidance on the interpretation and application of the Privacy Act and its related policy, directives, standards and guidelines.
Info Source (Info Source)
Is a series of annual Treasury Board Secretariat publications in which government institutions are required to describe their institutions, program responsibilities and information holdings, including PIBs and classes of personal information. The descriptions are to contain sufficient clarity and detail to facilitate the exercise of the right of access under the Privacy Act. Data-matching activities, use of the SIN and all activities for which privacy impact assessments were conducted have to be cited in Info Source PIBs, as applicable. The Info Source publications also provide contact information for government institutions as well as summaries of court cases and statistics on access requests.
multi-institutional privacy impact assessments (évaluations des facteurs relatifs à la vie privée multi-institutionnelles)
Is a privacy impact assessment that involves more than one government institution. (See definition of privacy impact assessment, below.)
new consistent use (nouvel usage compatible)
Is a consistent use that was not originally identified in the appropriate Personal Information Bank (PIB) description in the government institution's chapter in Info Source.
non-administrative purpose (fins non-administratives)
Is the use of personal information for a purpose that is not related to any decision-making process that directly affects the individual. This includes the use of personal information for research, statistical, audit and evaluation purposes.
personal information (renseignements personnels)
Is "information about an identifiable individual that is recorded in any form" (section 3). See section 3 of the Act for additional information.
personal information bank (fichier de renseignements personnels)
Is a description of personal information that is organized and retrievable by a person's name or by an identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned only to that person. The personal information described in the personal information bank has been used, is being used, or is available for an administrative purpose and is under the control of a government institution.
Privacy Commissioner (Commissaire à la protection de la vie privée)
Is an Officer of Parliament appointed by Governor in Council.
privacy impact assessment (évaluation des facteurs relatifs à la vie privée)
Is a policy process for identifying, assessing and mitigating privacy risks. Government institutions are to develop and maintain privacy impact assessments for all new or modified programs and activities that involve the use of personal information for an administrative purpose.
privacy request (demande de renseignements personnels)
Is a request for access to personal information under the Act.
program or activity (programme ou activité)
Is, for the purposes of the appropriate collection, use or disclosure of personal information by government institutions subject to this policy, a program or activity that is authorized or approved by Parliament. Parliamentary authority is usually contained in an Act of Parliament or subsequent Regulations. Parliamentary authority can also be in the form of approval of expenditures proposed in the Estimates and as authorized by an appropriation Act. Also included in this definition are any activities conducted as part of the administration of the program.
requestor (requérant)
Is a person who is requesting access to personal information about himself or herself or who has requested that a correction be made or a notation attached to his or her personal information.
Social Insurance Number (SIN) (numéro d'assurance sociale (NAS)
Is a number suitable for use as a file number or account number or for data-processing purposes, as defined in subsection 138(3) of the Employment Insurance Act. For purposes of paragraph 3(c) of the Privacy Act, the SIN is an identifying number, and is therefore considered to be personal information.
statistical report (rapport statistique)
Is intended to provide up-to-date statistics on the operation of the legislation. The reports allow the government to monitor trends and to respond to enquiries from Members of Parliament, the public and the media. The reports also form the statistical portion of government institutions annual reports to Parliament. The forms used for preparing the report are prescribed by the designated minister, as provided under paragraphs 71(1)(c) and (e) of the Privacy Act.
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