IPC Digest | September 2016

Sep 26 2016

IPC Digest
September 2016 Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario IPC Facebook  IPC Linkedin IPC Twitter-@IPCInfoprivacy IPC Website



“This year marks the 250th anniversary of the world’s first access to information legislation and so this Right to Know Week presents a chance to reflect on how far we have come in Ontario and more importantly, the path we would like to take. Ontario’s access to information and privacy laws are now 30 years old and have therefore not been appropriately updated to align with changes in technology and the public’s expectations regarding access to government-held information. Creating a more open and accountable government is vital, so I am renewing my call to the Ontario government to conduct a comprehensive, public review of our access and privacy laws. Let’s work together to increase the transparency and accountability of government institutions, and modernize our access and privacy rights.”

Brian Beamish,
Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

Guidance on Open Government

We have published three important guidance papers on Open Government:


August 10, 2016
Why the Toronto Star’s Landmark Carding Project Might Not Be Possible Today

August 23, 2016
Hospital snoopers receive fines, community service for ‘massive criminal scheme’
Toronto Star

September 14, 2016
New portal eases access to city’s data
Waterloo Region-Record

September 15, 2016
Toronto police want to deploy body-worn cameras service-wide

September 16, 2016
Ottawa police approve body-worn camera pilot project
Ottawa Citizen



Automated Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) systems used by police services in Ontario have the potential to be used to track individuals’ locations over time, making it easier for police to conduct surveillance and profiling. As a result, the use of ALPR systems raises significant privacy concerns. Among those concerns are potential failures to comply with Ontario’s privacy legislation, and intrusions on other fundamental rights and liberties. Proper policies, procedures and technical controls are critical to protecting privacy, particularly when considering that most drivers are law-abiding individuals simply going about their everyday activities.

We have published Guidance on the Use of Automated Licence Plate Recognition Systems by Police Services which outlines the key obligations of police services under privacy legislation in their use of ALPR systems and provides guidance, including best practices, on using these systems in a privacy-protective manner. Based on our successful collaborations with the Ontario Provincial Police and the Toronto Police Service, it addresses the use of ALPR systems for public safety purposes, in particular for the purpose of alerting an officer in an ALPR-equipped vehicle to the presence of a particular licence plate.


October 25, 2016
Ontario E-Discovery Institute 2016
The Advocates’ Society

October 27, 2016
2016 FOIPN Conference
Freedom of Information Police Network

October 28-29, 2016
Access to Information and Privacy Law Symposium
Canadian Bar Association



In order to keep the public and professionals up to date with the IPC’s interpretations of access and privacy legislation, we have begun publishing a number of fact sheets. Highlights include:

And coming soon, two more fact sheets: Your Business is affected by a Freedom of Information Request and Privacy Fact Sheet: What is Personal Information?


August 10, 2016
MO-3345 – The city’s decision to withhold the house numbers of petition signees is upheld as the house numbers would identify the signees and disclosure would be an unjustified invasion of privacy.
City of Toronto

August 11, 2016
MO-3347 – Portions of a consultant’s review of the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension Project do not qualify for advice and recommendations exemption because the performance or efficiency report exception applies to this information.
Toronto Transit Commission



If you have any questions call us at 416.326.3333 / 1.800.387.0073, email us, or write to us: Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, 2 Bloor St. East, Suite 1400, Toronto, ON, M4W 1A8.

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© 2016 Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. All rights reserved.

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For a quick response, kindly e-mail or phone us with details of your request such as media outlet, topic, and deadline:
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