Guide to FOIP-Chapter 6

Office of the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner. Guide to FOIP, Chapter 6, Protection of Privacy. Updated 27 February 2023. 4 • Enabling individuals to make complaints to the Commissioner and empowering the Commissioner to investigate complaints regarding possible collection, use or disclosures in contravention of Part IV of FOIP (s. 33 and s. 49(1)(a.4)). • Requiring government institutions to notify individuals of an unauthorized use or disclosure of the individual’s personal information if there is a real risk of significant harm to the individual (s. 29.1). • Providing fines and/or imprisonment to any person who knowingly collects, uses, or discloses personal information in contravention of FOIP (s. 68).6 Privacy as a Charter Right The Supreme Court of Canada has considered the concept of privacy in several different contexts and determined that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees all Canadians a right of privacy.7 The right of privacy is founded on sections 7 and 8 of the Charter. Those sections provide as follows: 7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. 8. Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.8 Section 8 of the Charter is intended to protect individuals from unjustified state intrusions upon their privacy. The scope of section 8 is limited by the reasonableness of the individual’s expectation of privacy in a given set of circumstances.9 The Supreme Court of Canada has recognized several kinds of privacy namely, physical, or bodily privacy, territorial privacy, privacy of communications and information privacy. For purposes of FOIP, the focus is only on information privacy. The Supreme Court of Canada has quoted with approval the following statement: 6 Adapted from Service Alberta, FOIP Guidelines and Practices: 2009 Edition, Chapter 7, pp. 2 to 3. 7 SK OIPC Investigation Report F-2005-001 at [21]. 8 The Constitution Act, 1982, Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (UK), 1982, c 11. Also quoted in SK OIPC Investigation Report F-2005-001 at [23]. 9 Hunter et al. v. Southam Inc., 1984 CanLII 33 (SCC), [1984] 2 SCR 145 at p. 160.