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Bill C-51 (the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015)

On March 4, 2015, Catherine Tully and other independent provincial and territorial prlvacy commissioners wrote to the Select Standing Committee on Public Safety. They expressed their deep concern about the far reaching implications of Bill C-51 (the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015) for the fundamental rights of Canadians. Read the letter here.

Law enforcement agencies urged to consider privacy and personal information protection before adopting body-worn cameras. February 

The Freedom of Information and Canada’s privacy and personal information protection guardians are urging law enforcement agencies across the country to carefully consider the significant risks to privacy before equipping officers with body-worn cameras.

The federal Privacy Commissioner and privacy and personal information protection Ombudspersons and Commissioners in all provinces and territories have today launched a guidance document to help law enforcement agencies develop policies and procedures governing the use of body-worn cameras.

The guidance calls on law enforcement agencies to evaluate whether the expected benefits outweigh the impact on privacy and personal information before introducing a body-worn camera program.

The guidance notes that a Privacy Impact Assessment, which can help identify and mitigate the potential risks to privacy and personal information, is a highly recommended best practice before launching a body-worn camera program. As well, law enforcement agencies can consult with data protection experts and undertake a pilot project before deploying the cameras broadly.

Other issues highlighted in the document include:

Public awareness: Law enforcement agencies should inform the public of any new body-worn camera program through local media and other outreach initiatives. As well, during recorded encounters, officers should be required to notify people of recording of images and sound whenever possible.

Privacy Impact Assessment of the Municipal Government Act  Catherine Tully publishes an essential assessment tool for public bodies to ensure compliance with the privacy requirements set out in the Municipal Government Act (MGA). Read here.

Key Steps to Responding to Privacy Breaches are published and made available to Health Custodians.

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Privacy Management Program: At a Glance

Increasingly, citizens are concerned about what happens to their personal information held by government institutions. They worry about the use of their information in new and emerging technologies, how much they can trust government with their personal information, and the impact a privacy breach might have on them. Government institutions have legal, ethical and financial obligations to get privacy right.

Getting privacy right starts with a privacy management program. An effective privacy management program ensures that programs and services build in privacy protections from the start. This document provides an at-a-glance view to help Nova Scotia Public Bodies, Municipalities and health care custodians design and implement effective privacy management programs. Access the report here.