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Law enforcement agencies urged to consider privacy and personal information protection before adopting body-worn cameras, February 18 

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.


Data Privacy Day, January 28

Halifax – Today, data privacy authorities around the world are reminding citizens to take action to stay safe online. Nova Scotia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Review Officer, Catherine Tully, joins them in marking Data Privacy Day.

Data Privacy Day is celebrated every January 28 around the world. Events around the day seek to raise awareness of the importance of valuing and protecting personal information and respecting privacy. 

Read full news release here.



Report Release Date: December 11, 2014

Summary:  An applicant requested correction of three risk assessments and an investigation summary created by the Department of Community Services (the “Department”).  The Department refused to make the corrections stating that its case notes were accurate.  Instead, the Department annotated the file by placing a copy of the applicant’s request and its response on the applicant’s files and by placing a notation in its case management system.  

The Review Officer found that the Department properly refused to make the requested corrections as the requested changes are not corrections of personal information as contemplated by s. 25(1) of the Act.  The Review Officer also found that the Department’s response to the applicant was confusing as it references the accuracy of case notes and not that of the three risk assessments and investigation summary to which the applicant sought correction.

The Review Officer recommended that the Department confirm the basis for its decision as the findings relating to the three risk assessments and one investigation report; ensure that a copy of the original request for correction and the Department’s response is placed on any hard copy file containing the disputed reports; and amend the notation in the case management system indicating that there was a dispute as to the accuracy of the three risk assessments and the investigation summary and identifying the location of the correction request.

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

Annual Report 2013 

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Review Officer for Nova Scotia released her Annual Report for 2013 today. A copy of the press release is available here and you can access the report here.