Directive on Privacy Practices

Provides direction to government institutions on how to implement effective privacy practices.
Date modified: 2020-06-18

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1. Effective date

  • 1.1This directive takes effect on October 26, 2022.
  • 1.2This directive replaces the Directive on Privacy Practices dated May 6, 2014.

2. Authorities

  • 2.1This directive is issued pursuant to paragraph 71(1)(d) of the Privacy Act (the Act) and as specified in section 2.2 of the Policy on Privacy Protection.

3. Objectives and expected results

  • 3.1In addition to the objectives indicated in section 3.1 of the Policy on Privacy Protection, the objectives of this directive are to facilitate the implementation and public reporting of consistent and sound privacy management practices for the protection of personal information throughout its lifecycle, which includes the creation, collection, retention, use, disclosure and disposal of personal information under the control of government institutions, whether the information is held by the institution or by a third party acting under contract, information sharing agreement or information sharing arrangement with the institution.
  • 3.2

    The expected results of this directive are as follows:

    • 3.2.1Personal information is only created, collected, retained, used, disclosed and disposed of in a manner that respects the provisions of the Act and the Privacy Regulations (the Regulations).
    • 3.2.2Personal Information Banks (PIBs) and classes of personal information of government institutions are described in a manner that facilitates the process for individuals to request access to and correction of personal information.
    • 3.2.3The purposes for which government institutions collect personal information and the privacy practices that support the administration of programs and activities are described in the PIBs and classes of personal information.
    • 3.2.4Privacy breaches are effectively managed and appropriate preventative measures are in place.
    • 3.2.5Personal information under the control of government institutions is accurate.

4. Requirements

  • 4.1

    Heads of government institutions or their delegates are responsible for the following:

    • 4.1.1Establishing effective privacy practices in their institution, as set out below. These practices are to be followed when officers or employees are involved in activities related to the creation, collection, retention, accuracy, use, disclosure or disposal of personal information under the control of the government institution, including the personal information of officers or employees of the institution as defined by the Act.

    Privacy training

    • 4.1.2Ensuring that employees of government institutions receive privacy training as outlined in Appendix B of the Directive on Personal Information Requests and Correction of Personal Information.
    • 4.1.3Documenting the completion of training in accordance with Appendix B of the Directive on Personal Information Requests and Correction of Personal Information.

    Privacy breaches

    • 4.1.4

      Ensuring plans for addressing privacy breaches that affect personal information under the control of the institution, including those that occur within or as a result of third-party entities, meet the following requirements:

      • 4.1.4.1Roles and responsibilities in the event of a privacy breach are clearly defined;
      • 4.1.4.2Internal procedures and communications align with the Policy on Government Security and its related directives and standards; and
      • 4.1.4.3The requirements set out in Appendix B: Mandatory Procedures for Privacy Breaches are met.
    • 4.1.5In the event of a privacy breach affecting personal information that is held by the institution but is under the control of another government institution, promptly notifying the institution under whose control the personal information lies and undertaking responsive action in coordination with the institution as required to ensure the requirements set out in Appendix B: Mandatory Procedures for Privacy Breaches are met.
    • 4.1.6Executing the mandatory procedures required of heads of government institutions or their delegates set out in Appendix B: Mandatory Procedures for Privacy Breaches.

    Personal information banks and classes of personal information

    • 4.1.7Ensuring that the development process for new or substantially modified PIBs is aligned with the process for the development and approval of the core privacy impact assessment, as required by the Directive on Privacy Impact Assessment.
    • 4.1.8Submitting a request to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) for the registration of each new PIB or the termination of an existing PIB.
    • 4.1.9Ensuring that PIB registration requests include all the elements of the PIB as described in subparagraphs 11(1)(a)(i) through (vi) of the Act, accompanied by a completed and approved core privacy impact assessment.
    • 4.1.10

      Ensuring that PIB termination requests include:

      • 4.1.10.1An explanation of why the PIB should be terminated; and
      • 4.1.10.2A confirmation that the records and personal information contained therein have been disposed of in accordance with the institution’s Records Disposition Authority and are no longer under the institution’s control.
    • 4.1.11Satisfying the requirements set out in Appendix C: Additional Requirements Under the Act for Departments As Defined in Section 2 of the Financial Administration Act for approvals by the President of the Treasury Board in relation to PIBs, unless this approval authority has been delegated to the head of the institution by the President of the Treasury Board, subject to terms and conditions.
    • 4.1.12Notifying TBS of changes to PIBs.
    • 4.1.13Ensuring that TBS receives a core privacy impact assessment, as required by the Directive on Privacy Impact Assessment, when changes to a PIB are substantial.
    • 4.1.14Updating the prescribed repository of PIB descriptions, Info Source, for all new, modified or terminated PIBs, and for all changes to classes of personal information.

    Exempt banks

    • 4.1.15

      Ensuring that proposals submitted to TBS to establish or revoke an exempt bank include:

      • 4.1.15.1A description of the information to be included in the exempt bank and why that information should be included in an exempt bank;
      • 4.1.15.2Confirmation that the files in the bank consist predominantly of personal information as described in sections 21 or 22 of the Act;
      • 4.1.15.3The specific exemption provision in the Act being relied on;
      • 4.1.15.4A statement of the expected detrimental effect for any injury text exemption; and
      • 4.1.15.5A draft Order in Council, along with a draft Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement.

    Requests and disclosures to investigative bodies

    • 4.1.16Adhering to the requirements concerning requests from and disclosures to investigative bodies outlined in Appendix D: Requirements Related to Paragraph 8(2)(e) of the Privacy Act.

    Recording new uses and disclosures

    • 4.1.17

      Establishing procedures for maintaining a record of new uses and disclosures, as well as any consistent uses that are not reflected in a PIB. Such procedures will ensure that:

      • 4.1.17.1Descriptions of use, purpose of collection and disclosure recorded in all PIBs are kept up-to-date (this does not apply to disclosures to investigative bodies);
      • 4.1.17.2Any new consistent uses are reflected in the relevant PIBs; and
      • 4.1.17.3The Privacy Commissioner of Canada is notified of all new consistent uses.

    Privacy in web analytics

    • 4.1.18Ensuring that the use of web analytics for measuring and improving performance of Government of Canada websites complies with Appendix E: Standard on Privacy in Web Analytics.

    Monitoring and reporting

    • 4.1.19Monitoring and reporting on the requirements of this directive as specified in the Policy on Privacy Protection.
  • 4.2

    Executives and senior officials who manage programs or activities involving the creation, collection or handling of personal information are responsible for the following:

    Privacy practices

    • 4.2.1Informing the head of the government institution or their delegate of any new or proposed program or activity or of any substantial modification to an existing program or activity where personal information is collected or handled in a decision-making process that directly affects the individual.
    • 4.2.2Ensuring that privacy practices are consistent with and respect the provisions found in the Act, the Regulations and other applicable legislation, including the institution’s enabling legislation.
    • 4.2.3Informing employees of the legal and administrative consequences of any inappropriate or unauthorized access to, use, disclosure, modification, retention and disposal of personal information related to a particular program or activity.

    Privacy breaches

    • 4.2.4Implementing the institution’s plans for addressing privacy breaches.
    • 4.2.5Ensuring the head of the government institution or their delegate is notified of any potential or confirmed privacy breach affecting personal information held by or under the control of the institution, including any that occur within a third party.
    • 4.2.6Executing the mandatory procedures required of executives and senior officials who manage programs or activities involving the creation, collection or handling of personal information set out in Appendix B: Mandatory Procedures for Privacy Breaches.

    Collection and creation of personal information

    • 4.2.7Ensuring, before collecting personal information, that the institution has legal authority for the program or activity for which the information is being collected. Obtaining an individual’s consent for collecting personal information does not replace nor establish legal authority for collecting that information.
    • 4.2.8Identifying the elements to be included in a PIB before there is any new collection of personal information.
    • 4.2.9Limiting the collection of personal information to what is directly related to and demonstrably necessary for the government institution’s programs or activities. Personal information that is created by the government institution is also considered a collection under the Act.

    Privacy notice

    • 4.2.10

      Notifying the individual whose personal information is collected directly of:

      • 4.2.10.1The purpose and legal authority for the collection;
      • 4.2.10.2Any uses or disclosures that are consistent with the original purpose;
      • 4.2.10.3Any legal or administrative consequences for refusing to provide the personal information;
      • 4.2.10.4The relevant PIB description;
      • 4.2.10.5The rights of access to, correction and protection of personal information under the Act; and
      • 4.2.10.6The right to file a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada regarding the institution’s handling of the individual’s personal information.
    • 4.2.11Adapting the privacy notice for either written or verbal communication at the time of collection.

    Consent regarding collection, use and disclosure

    • 4.2.12

      Obtaining consent from an individual for the following:

      • 4.2.12.1The indirect collection of personal information, unless the collection is for a non-administrative purpose or a purpose listed under 8(2) of the Act, or seeking consent could result in collecting inaccurate information or defeat the purpose or prejudice the use for which the information was collected;
      • 4.2.12.2Uses or disclosures that are not consistent with the purposes for which the information was originally obtained or compiled, unless the use or disclosure is authorized under 8(2) of the Act; and
      • 4.2.12.3Any disposal of personal information before the two-year minimum retention standard established by the Regulations unless such disposal is expressly authorized by legislation.
    • 4.2.13

      Including the following elements, as applicable, when seeking consent:

      • 4.2.13.1The purpose of the consent;
      • 4.2.13.2The specific personal information elements involved;
      • 4.2.13.3In the case of indirect collections, the sources that will be asked to provide the information, as well as the reason for making the collection indirectly;
      • 4.2.13.4Uses or disclosures that are not consistent with the original purpose of the collection and for which consent is being sought;
      • 4.2.13.5Any consequences that may result from withholding consent; and
      • 4.2.13.6Any alternatives to providing consent.
    • 4.2.14Ensuring that consent is obtained in writing or is otherwise adequately documented, including such information as the date and time of consent.

    Accuracy

    • 4.2.15Ensuring, through all reasonable measures, that personal information to be used in a decision-making process, is as accurate, up‑to‑date and complete as possible. This includes collecting personal information directly from the individual, wherever possible, unless the individual authorizes otherwise or for reasons permitted by 5(1) of the Act.
    • 4.2.16

      Implementing, in cases where personal information is collected indirectly without consent having been obtained, measures to:

      • 4.2.16.1Ensure that the personal information is obtained from a reliable source; or
      • 4.2.16.2Verify or validate the accuracy of the personal information before use.
    • 4.2.17When validating the accuracy of personal information, documenting the source or technique used.
    • 4.2.18When validating the accuracy of personal information, identifying in the relevant PIB description the source or technique used, including any data matching, where appropriate.
    • 4.2.19Ensuring that individuals are given the opportunity, whenever possible, to correct inaccurate personal information before any decision is made that could have an impact on them.

    Safeguards for access, use and disclosure

    • 4.2.20Limiting access to personal information to those individuals who hold positions or functions in the program or activity that have a valid reason to access the personal information.
    • 4.2.21Limiting access to, as well as use and disclosure of, personal information by administrative, technical and physical means, to protect that information.
    • 4.2.22Adopting appropriate measures to ensure that access to, as well as use and disclosure of, personal information are monitored and documented in order to address the timely identification of privacy breaches.

    Contracts, agreements and arrangements

    • 4.2.23Establishing a contract, information sharing agreement or information sharing arrangement with appropriate safeguards prior to any disclosure of personal information to another federal program or to another public or private sector entity, unless the personal information is exchanged under an international treaty in accordance with international standards.
    • 4.2.24

      Ensuring appropriate safeguards for contracts, information sharing agreements and information sharing arrangements subject to 4.2.23 that take effect or are substantively modified after the effective date of this directive include provisions that address the following elements:

      • 4.2.24.1The specific elements of personal information that will be disclosed;
      • 4.2.24.2The specific purpose or purposes for the disclosure;
      • 4.2.24.3Limitations on collection, use and subsequent disclosure of the personal information;
      • 4.2.24.4Proper retention and disposal of the personal information, where relevant, including a confirmation of destruction where destruction is required;
      • 4.2.24.5Administrative, technical and physical safeguards;
      • 4.2.24.6The government institution’s continued control over any personal information disclosed to or collected by the entity as part of the contract, information sharing agreement or information sharing arrangement;
      • 4.2.24.7The obligation to coordinate with the government institution such that the institution can meet its obligations under section 12 of the Privacy Act regarding an individual’s right of access;
      • 4.2.24.8For government institutions subject to the Policy on Government Security, the obligation to follow all guidance issued by lead security agencies as set out in section 5 of that policy;
      • 4.2.24.9Mandatory timely reporting to the government institution of any potential or confirmed privacy breach affecting the personal information;
      • 4.2.24.10For entities not subject to the Privacy Act, the obligation in the event of a potential or confirmed privacy breach to provide, on request, the government institution leading the investigation with sufficient access to the personal information holdings to undertake an assessment of the potential or confirmed privacy breach; and
      • 4.2.24.11A mandatory review of the contract, information sharing agreement or information sharing arrangement, at an interval agreed upon by the parties.
    • 4.2.25Making any contract, information sharing agreement or information sharing arrangement subject to 4.2.23 available to the OPC and TBS upon request.
    • 4.2.26Making available to the public, via the annual update to the institution’s Info Source, summaries of all contracts, information sharing agreements and information sharing arrangements that are subject to 4.2.23 and take effect or are substantively modified after the effective date of this directive, except in cases of single, one-time disclosures of personal information.
    • 4.2.27Respecting security requirements as well as any other confidentiality or legal consideration when making a summary of a contract, information sharing agreement or information sharing arrangement available to the public.

    Devolution or privatization

    • 4.2.28

      Ensuring, when personal information is transferred out of the control of a government institution as a result of the devolution or privatization of a program or activity, that:

      • 4.2.28.1Authority is established for the transfer;
      • 4.2.28.2Adequate privacy practices are in place prior to the transfer;
      • 4.2.28.3The rights of individuals to access and correct their personal information will be maintained after the transfer;
      • 4.2.28.4A records transfer agreement, which respects any existing Records Disposition Authority, is in place to establish the terms and conditions for the records being transferred, including security considerations;
      • 4.2.28.5Consent is obtained from the Librarian and Archivist of Canada before the transfer of records; and
      • 4.2.28.6A notice of the devolution or privatization is made available to the public via the annual update to the institution’s Info Source.

    Recording of new uses and disclosures

    • 4.2.29Notifying the head or appropriate delegate of any use, purpose or disclosure of personal information that is not reflected in the PIB description and ensuring the PIB is updated accordingly.

    Retention and disposal of personal information

    • 4.2.30Applying the institution’s standards for the retention of personal information, as well as the disposition authorizations as established by Library and Archives Canada, and reporting them in the relevant PIB.
    • 4.2.31Ensuring that personal information of an individual that has been used for an administrative purpose is retained by the institution in accordance with subsections 6(1) of the Act and paragraphs 4(1)(a) and (b) of the Regulations.
    • 4.2.32Reviewing files described within PIBs, including those of exempt banks, on a regular basis and disposing of records containing personal information in accordance with direction from Library and Archives Canada, as stipulated in sections 12 through 14 of the Library and Archives of Canada Act.
    • 4.2.33Where the institution is subject to the Policy on Government Security, disposing of records in accordance with government security standards.

    Privacy in web analytics

    • 4.2.34Informing employees and any other individuals who are responsible for managing the institution’s websites, as well as functional specialists and web content owners, of the need to comply with the requirements of Appendix E: Standard on Privacy in Web Analytics.
  • 4.3

    Employees of government institutions are responsible for the following:

    Privacy breaches

    • 4.3.1Executing the mandatory procedures required of employees set out in Appendix B: Mandatory Procedures for Privacy Breaches.

    Privacy in web analytics

    • 4.3.2Performing web analytics, if authorized to do so, in compliance with the requirements of Appendix E: Standard on Privacy in Web Analytics.

    Privacy training

    • 4.3.3Completing privacy training as outlined in Appendix B of the Directive on Personal Information Requests and Correction of Personal Information.

5. Roles of other government organizations

  • 5.1This section identifies the roles of other key government organizations in relation to this directive. In and of itself, this section does not confer any authority.
  • 5.2

    TBS is responsible for supporting the President of the Treasury Board in:

    • 5.2.1Setting the terms and conditions for the approval of PIBs, as well as the terms and conditions for delegating this approval to heads of departments;
    • 5.2.2Revoking any delegation order made under subsection 71(6) of the Act if there is a systemic compliance issue at a government institution; and
    • 5.2.3Monitoring and tracking material privacy breaches across the government.
  • 5.3The Office of the Chief Information Officer within TBS is responsible for approving de-identification methodologies that a third-party service provider is required to use by subsection E.2.2.3 of Appendix E: Standard on Privacy in Web Analytics for the purpose of web analytics on servers hosted externally by the third party.

6. Application

  • 6.1This directive applies as described in section 6 of the Policy on Privacy Protection.

7. References

8. Enquiries


Appendix A: Definitions

  • A.1

    The definitions listed below, in addition to those listed in Appendix A of the Policy on Privacy Protection, are to be used in the interpretation of this directive.

    administrative safeguards (mesures de protection administrative)
    Policies, directives, rules, procedures and processes that aim to protect personal information throughout the life cycle of both the information and the program or activity (e.g., institutional security policy, security provisions in a service contract for the destruction of records).
    classes of personal information (catégories de renseignements personnels)
    Descriptions of personal information that is under the control of a government institution but that is not intended to be used for an administrative purpose or that cannot be retrieved by the name of the individual or another personal identifier (e.g., unsolicited opinions and general correspondence). Classes of personal information must be listed and described in an institution’s Info Source.
    creation of personal information (création de renseignements personnels)
    Any personal information element or sub-element that a government institution assigns to an identifiable individual regardless of whether the information is derived from existing personal information under the control of the government institution or the institution appends new information to the individual. The creation of personal information is considered a collection under the Privacy Act.
    digital markers (marqueurs numériques)
    Mechanisms used to remember a visitor’s online interactions with a website(s). These mechanisms may be used to record a visitor’s online interactions within a single session or visit, or to record a visitor’s online interactions through multiple sessions or visits.
    direct collection (collecte directe)
    The collection of personal information from the individual to whom the information relates.
    first-party cookie (témoins internes (de premier niveau))
    A cookie is a data file sent by a web server to the web browser on a visitor’s computer that the web server uses to track or record visitor information. First-party cookies are those cookies set by the website the visitor is visiting.
    handling (traitement)
    Any process involving personal information, including collection, correction, creation, modification, use, retention, disclosure and disposal.
    indirect collection (collecte indirecte)
    The collection of personal information from a source other than the individual to whom the information relates.
    information sharing agreement (accord d’échange de renseignements)
    A written record of understanding that outlines the terms and conditions under which personal information is disclosed between parties. An information sharing agreement is usually employed to facilitate the disclosure of personal information from a federal institution to a public-sector entity external to the Crown. An information sharing agreement may or may not be legally binding.
    information sharing arrangement (entente d’échange de renseignements)
    A written record of understanding that outlines the terms and conditions under which personal information is disclosed between parties. An information sharing arrangement is usually employed to facilitate the disclosure of personal information between and within federal institutions. An information sharing arrangement is not legally binding.
    Internet Protocol address (adresse du protocole Internet (IP))
    A numerical label assigned by the Internet service provider to each computer. It is how the computer user communicates on the Internet. An Internet Protocol (IP) address may, in some circumstances, be linked with an identifiable individual whose computer is using that address at any given time. Therefore, the Government of Canada considers the Internet Protocol address to be personal information that must, in all cases, be dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Act.
    internet service provider (fournisseur de services Internet)
    An organization that provides access to the Internet.
    original purpose (fin originale)
    The purpose that was first identified when initiating the collection of personal information and that is directly related to an operating program or activity of the institution. A purpose that is not consistent with the original purpose is considered to be a secondary purpose.
    physical safeguards (mesures de protection physique)
    The facilities and equipment that are used to protect personal information (e.g., locked storage rooms, locked filing cabinets).
    predominantly (principalement)
    In the context of an exempt bank, means that more than half of the information in each file contained in the bank qualifies for an exemption under section 21 or 22 of the Act.
    privacy notice (avis de confidentialité)
    A verbal or written notice informing an individual of the purpose of collecting their personal information as well as the government institution’s legal authority for the collection. The notice, which must reference the PIB described in Info Source, also informs the individual of how their personal information will be used and disclosed, their right to access and request the correction of the personal information, any consequences of refusing to provide the information requested, and their right to file a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
    privacy practices (pratiques relatives à protection de la vie privée)
    All practices related to the creation, collection, retention, accuracy, correction, use, disclosure, retention and disposal of personal information.
    Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) (résumé de l’étude d’impact de la réglementation (REIR))
    A tool used for regulatory reform that assesses the impact of a proposed regulation on the quality of the environment and on the health, safety, security, and social and economic well-being of Canadians.
    reliable source (source fiable)
    A source of information or a data holding that is deemed to be accurate and up-to-date and that can be trusted and relied on for the purposes of collecting or validating personal information.
    technical safeguards (mesures de protection technique)
    Information technology measures that are used to protect the personal information (e.g. encryption) and the facility, equipment, and support system where personal information is recorded and stored (e.g., electronic access control devices, audit controls).
    web analytics (Web analytique)
    The collection, analysis, measurement and reporting of data about web traffic and user visits for the purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage.

Appendix B: Mandatory Procedures for Privacy Breaches

B.1 Effective date

  • B.1.1These mandatory procedures take effect on October 26, 2022.

B.2 Procedures

  • B.2.1 These mandatory procedures for privacy breaches provide details on the requirements set out in section 4 of the Directive on Privacy Practices.
  • B.2.2

    Employees of government institutions must:

    • B.2.2.1Take immediate measures to contain any potential or confirmed privacy breach and secure the affected personal information; and
    • B.2.2.2

      Once any containment measures have been taken, immediately notify the head of the institution or their delegate of the potential or confirmed privacy breach. The notification is to include:

      • B.2.2.2.1The date, time and location of the potential or confirmed privacy breach, and
      • B.2.2.2.2A brief description of the potential or confirmed privacy breach, including the type of personal information affected and the number of individuals potentially affected, and any containment measures taken.
  • B.2.3

    Executives and senior officials who manage programs or activities involving the creation, collection or handling of personal information must:

    • B.2.3.1If personal information affected by a privacy breach is the subject of a contract, information sharing agreement or information sharing arrangement, promptly notify the parties to that contract, information sharing agreement or information sharing arrangement;
    • B.2.3.2If a full assessment of the breach is determined to be required by the head of the government institution or their delegate, ensure an appropriate program official is assigned to coordinate with the head of the government institution or their delegate;
    • B.2.3.3In coordination with the head of the government institution or their delegate, determine appropriate mitigation measures to reduce the risks of harm to affected individuals and to the institution from the breach, which, in the event of a material privacy breach, must include notification of the affected individuals unless such notification would be inappropriate for security, confidentiality, legal or other reasons;
    • B.2.3.4In coordination with the head of the government institution or their delegated, determine appropriate prevention measures to reduce the risk of future breaches; and
    • B.2.3.5Enact the mitigation and prevention measures that are determined to be appropriate within a reasonable timeframe.
  • B.2.4

    Heads of government institutions or their delegates must:

    • B.2.4.1On receiving notification of a potential privacy breach, verify whether it does, in fact, constitute a privacy breach;
    • B.2.4.2

      In the event of a privacy breach, determine the need for a full assessment. A full assessment identifies and documents, at a minimum:

      • B.2.4.2.1The circumstances that gave rise to the breach;
      • B.2.4.2.2The inventory of personal information that was affected;
      • B.2.4.2.3The individuals whose personal information was affected;
      • B.2.4.2.4The institutional sectors and third parties, if any, who have a direct or indirect role in handling the personal information involved in the breach;
      • B.2.4.2.5The risk of harm to individuals affected and to the institution; and
      • B.2.4.2.6Whether the breach constitutes a material privacy breach.
    • B.2.4.3Collaborate as needed with institutional security officials, including those responsible for cyber security where appropriate, in any assessment of the privacy breach or investigation of a related security event;
    • B.2.4.4

      Include, at a minimum and where known, the following information when reporting a material privacy breach to the OPC and to TBS:

      • B.2.4.4.1The date of the breach or the period during which it occurred;
      • B.2.4.4.2A description of the breach, including its type and cause;
      • B.2.4.4.3The number or approximate number of individuals affected;
      • B.2.4.4.4The type of personal information involved;
      • B.2.4.4.5The parties involved;
      • B.2.4.4.6A description of the relevant safeguards that were in place;
      • B.2.4.4.7The real risks of significant harm that are anticipated;
      • B.2.4.4.8All remedial actions, including containment, mitigation and prevention measures, that were or will be taken;
      • B.2.4.4.9The method used to notify individuals whose personal information was affected, if applicable; and
      • B.2.4.4.10Justification should individuals whose personal information was affected not be notified.
    • B.2.4.5

      Maintain a record of all privacy breaches for a period of five years after the date the institution became aware of the breach. The record must include, at a minimum:

      • B.2.4.5.1The date of the breach or the period during which it occurred;
      • B.2.4.5.2A general description of the circumstances of the breach and the nature of the information involved;
      • B.2.4.5.3The full assessment of the breach, if one was undertaken; and
      • B.2.4.5.4In the case of a material privacy breach, the report provided to the OPC and TBS.

Appendix C: Additional Requirements Under the Privacy Act for Departments As Defined in Section 2 of the Financial Administration Act

  • C.1In addition to requiring the registration and publication of PIBs, subsections 71(3) and (4) of the Privacy Act require that the President of the Treasury Board approve each new PIB or each substantial modification to or termination of an existing PIB submitted by the government institutions defined as departments under section 2 of the Financial Administration Act.
  • C.2

    Unless the President of the Treasury Board has delegated this approval to the head of the department, pursuant to subsection 71(6) of the Act, the head or delegate responsible under section 10 of the Act is responsible for the following:

    • C.2.1Presenting all proposals for the creation of a new PIB or for the modification or termination of an existing PIB to TBS for approval; and
    • C.2.2Providing justification or analysis in support of the proposal. In the case of a proposal to establish or substantially modify a PIB that involves administrative decisions, a completed core privacy impact assessment will be required (see the Directive on Privacy Impact Assessment).

Appendix D: Requirements Related to Paragraph 8(2)(e) of the Privacy Act

  • D.1Under paragraph 8(2)(e) of the Act, personal information may be disclosed to an investigative body specified in the Regulations, upon written request of that body, for the purpose of enforcing any Canadian or provincial law or carrying out a lawful investigation. This provision does not grant investigative bodies a right of access to personal information. It leaves the disclosure decision to the discretion of the institution that has control of the information once the relevant criteria have been satisfied.
  • D.2

    Requirements related to Paragraph 8(2)(e) of theAct are as follows:

    Requests under paragraph 8(2)(e)

    • D.2.1

      Requests made under paragraph 8(2)(e) of the Act are to be in writing and are to contain:

      • D.2.1.1The name of the investigative body;
      • D.2.1.2The name of the individual who is the subject of the request, or some other personal identifier;
      • D.2.1.3The purpose of the request and a description of the information to be disclosed;
      • D.2.1.4The section of the federal or provincial statute under which the investigative activity is being undertaken; and
      • D.2.1.5The name, title and signature of the member of the investigative body who is filing the request.
    • D.2.2All copies of such requests received by an institution are to be retained.

    Documenting 8(2)(e) disclosures

    • D.2.3

      When such requests are received, the head of the institution or the delegate responsible for decisions with respect to paragraph 8(2)(e) of the Act is to retain a record of disclosure for the personal information provided to the investigative body. The record of disclosure is to contain:

      • D.2.3.1Clear indication as to whether the request was granted or refused;
      • D.2.3.2The date the request was received;
      • D.2.3.3The PIBs in which the disclosed information is held;
      • D.2.3.4The specific personal information, record or file that was disclosed;
      • D.2.3.5The name, title and signature of the official who authorized the response; and
      • D.2.3.6The name of the investigative body that made the request.
    • D.2.4A separate PIB is maintained for all records of disclosure to federal investigative bodies, including copies of the information that was disclosed to the requester. Pursuant to subsection 8(4) of the Act and section 7 of the Regulations, information contained in this PIB must be retained for a minimum of two years and must be made available to the Privacy Commissioner on request.

Appendix E: Standard on Privacy in Web Analytics

E.1 Effective date

  • E.1.1This standard takes effect on October 26, 2022.
  • E.1.2This standard replaces the Standard on Privacy and Web Analytics (January 31, 2013).

E.2 Standards

  • E.2.1This standard provides details on the requirements set out in section 4 of the Directive on Privacy Practices as they pertain to web analytics.
  • E.2.2

    Heads of government institutions or their delegates are responsible for the following standards:

    • E.2.2.1Information collected for web analytics that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, either alone or when combined with other identifying information that is linked or linkable to a specific individual, is considered personal information and is safeguarded in accordance with the requirements of the Act.
    • E.2.2.2

      A privacy notice is provided on the institution’s website that includes the following elements:

      • E.2.2.2.1An explanation of what web analytics is and the purposes for its use by the institution;
      • E.2.2.2.2A statement as to what specific personal information, including the Internet Protocol (IP) address, is being automatically collected from visitors by the government institution;
      • E.2.2.2.3A statement setting out the legal authority for the collection of this information;
      • E.2.2.2.4A statement advising visitors as to whether the IP address and other data in digital markers is being collected and used internally by the institution for the purpose of web analytics or is being disclosed or transmitted externally to a third party for that purpose;
      • E.2.2.2.5In cases where the IP address and other data in digital markers is disclosed or transmitted to a third party, an explanation of how the privacy of visitors to Government of Canada websites is being safeguarded through, at a minimum, the activation of the feature of third-party tools used for web analytics by which IP addresses are de-identified;
      • E.2.2.2.6If data disclosed or transmitted for web analytics is going outside of Canada, a statement to that effect along with a reference to any governing legislation that the information might be subject to; and
      • E.2.2.2.7A statement identifying the maximum retention period and the method of disposal for any personal information collected in relation to web analytics.
    • E.2.2.3

      Any contract put in place for the purpose of web analytics must contain, in addition to the requirements outlined in section 4.2.24 of the Directive on Privacy Practices, at a minimum, the following provisions:

      • E.2.2.3.1A definition of "personal information" as meaning information collected or generated in the performance of the contract about an individual, including the types of information specifically described in the Act and also including information that may be linked or is linkable to an individual, such as the website visitor’s IP address;
      • E.2.2.3.2A requirement that the third party appoint an officer within the organization to act as representative for all matters related to the personal information in question and that the name and contact information for this third-party contact be provided to the government institution within 10 days of the awarding of the contract;
      • E.2.2.3.3A requirement that the third party inform all of its employees, contractors and subcontractors of their privacy obligations when dealing with personal information disclosed or transmitted in relation to the work being performed under the contract or subcontract (the “work”);
      • E.2.2.3.4A requirement that the third party de-identify the IP address prior to its storage in order that the full IP address cannot be reconstituted. This must be done through irrevocable truncation of the last octet of the IP address or through some other methodology that offers comparable privacy protection and has been approved by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat;
      • E.2.2.3.5A requirement that the third party not link, or attempt to link, the IP address or some unique identifier associated with a digital marker with the identity of the individual computer user;
      • E.2.2.3.6A requirement that the de-identified IP address, along with other data disclosed to the third party for web analytics, be used only in accordance with the work, and that no subsequent uses or reuses of such data for any other purpose be allowed without the institution’s express prior written authorization;
      • E.2.2.3.7A requirement that the third party not disclose or transfer the de-identified IP address or any other data disclosed to it except in accordance with the work, with the express prior written authorization of the institution, or if required to do so by law;
      • E.2.2.3.8A requirement that the third party use only first-party cookies;
      • E.2.2.3.9A requirement that the third party be prohibited from using techniques that raise the risk of identification, re-identification or profiling such as, but not limited to, interlinking, cross-referencing, data mining or data matching from multiple sources on the personal information collected in relation to the work, unless expressly pre-authorized to do so, in writing, by the government institution;
      • E.2.2.3.10A requirement that the third party have security in place for the personal and de-identified information that is at least commensurate with the Policy on Government Security;
      • E.2.2.3.11A requirement that the third party safeguard the de-identified IP address and other information disclosed in relation to the work, and that this information be retained for a maximum period of 6 months, after which time the information, including any backup copies, must be destroyed; and
      • E.2.2.3.12An audit provision whereby the third party may be audited at least once annually, at a date to be determined by the Government of Canada, to ensure compliance with these requirements.
  • E.2.3

    Those authorized to perform web analytics on institutional servers or on servers hosted by third parties are responsible for the following standards:

    • E.2.3.1The feature of third-party tools used for web analytics by which IP addresses are de-identified is activated.
    • E.2.3.2Personal information is used only for the purpose of analytics; or a purpose for which the information may be disclosed by the institution under subsection 8(2) of the Act.
    • E.2.3.3

      Personal information collected for the purpose of web analytics is not used for the following:

      • E.2.3.3.1An administrative purpose, as defined in the Act, except where authorized to do so by law;
      • E.2.3.3.2To profile identifiable individuals, which includes producing inferences or other derivations from the personal information.
    • E.2.3.4The IP address and any other personal information including, but not limited to, information in digital markers used in relation to web analytics is safeguarded in accordance with principles as set out in section 4.3 of the Directive on Service and Digital.
    • E.2.3.5The IP address and any other personal information including, but not limited to, information in digital markers used in relation to web analytics is retained for a maximum period of 18 months, after which time the information is disposed of in accordance with sections 4.2.30 and 4.2.33 of the Directive on Privacy Practices and as authorized by the Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the President of the Treasury Board, 2017,
ISBN: 978-0-660-09674-2

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