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Access & Privacy - A Councillor's Guide
The OIPC has created a new guide to support newly-elected councillors understand their access and privacy obligations under the Municipal Government Act (MGA). The purpose of the guide is to give new councillors an accessible, high-level overview of important access and privacy rules they must be aware of, as well as direction for who to contact for further assistance.
Personal Health Information Act Review Recommendations
The Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) is undergoing a review by the Minister of Health and Wellness, the Honourable Leo Glavine. Since June 2013 the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has dealt with a total of 1750 matters related to PHIA. As a result of this experience, we identified seven areas where PHIA requires improvement to better serve Nova Scotians. To read a letter to Minister Glavine and a detailed explanation for each of our recommendations, click here.
New for Public Bodies and Municipalities - Instant Messaging and Personal Email Accounts Guide
Using instant messaging tools or personal email accounts to conduct business creates risks for public bodies and municipalities. Records relating to the conduct of a public body's or municipality's business are subject to the access and privacy provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPOP) and the Municipal Government Act (MGA), even if they are created, sent or received through instant messaging tools or personal email accounts. This new tool has been designed tohelp employees of municipal and provincial government bodies, elected officials and political staff understand their access and privacy obligations when they are using instant messaging tools, personal emails, or political party email accounts.
For immediate release
September 26, 2016
Nova Scotia's Information and Privacy Commissioner announces Right to Know Week Plans
HALIFAX - In celebration of Right to Know Week the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia has partnered with the Centre for Law and Democracy and the University of King's College School of Journalism to host a public panel discussion on how well Nova Scotia's access to information law is functioning. Read more...
For immediate release
September 22, 2016
Privacy regulators study finds Internet of Things shorfalls
HALIFAX - Six in ten Internet of Things devices don't properly tell customers how their personal information is being used, an international study has found.
The study, by 25 data protection regulators around the world, looked at devices like smart electricity meters, internet-connected thermostats and watches that monitor health, and considered how well companies communicate privacy matters to their customers. Read more...
New tool to find government proactive disclosure data
Government websites contain a significant amount of information for citizens. Sometimes that information is hard to find. We have collected together some of the most interesting websites and databases for easy reference by citizens. Want to know who won the tender for building the new baseball diamond in your area, curious about your local MLA's expenses, concerned about health care worker hygiene? Scroll through our organized list of government disclosures available online to find data on these issues and many more: Government Disclosures Available Online
Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 16-09
A third party objected to a proposed disclosure decision by the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). The third party argued that disclosure of any of the records would harm its business interests. The Commissioner notes that, considering the type of records involved and HRM's statutory duty to sever, it is unlikley that the exemption could apply to every line of the record. A thorough review of the records confirmed that no exemption could apply to a majority of the information. The Commissioner further finds that much of the third party's evidence amounts to mere assertions that harm will result, and concludes that the evidence provided does not satisfy the requirements of the Municipal Government Act. HRM provided no submission or evidence in support of its application of the exemption and so failed to meet its burden of proof. She recommends full disclosure. Read more...
Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 16-08
A grieving mother sought access to copies of photographs of her son taken by the medical examiner at the time of her son's death. The Department refused to disclose the photographs because it said the disclosure of the photographs would be an unreasonable invasion of the deceased's personal privacy. The Commissioner agrees that the deceased has privacy rights but determines that compassionate considerations outweigh the presumed unreasonable invasion of the deceased's privacy rights in this case. She recommends disclosure of the photographs to the applicant. Read more...
New/Updated Publications Now Available