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. 125 SECTION 25: PURPOSE OF INFORMATION Purpose of information 25 No government institution shall collect personal information unless the information is collected for a purpose that relates to an existing or proposed program or activity of the government institution. Section 25 establishes the rules under which a government institution can collect personal information. Collection means to bring or come together; assemble; accumulate; obtain personal information from any source by any means.369 Collection occurs when a government institution gathers, acquires, receives, or obtains personal information. It includes the gathering of information through forms, interviews, questionnaires, surveys, polls, and video surveillance. There is no restriction on how the information is collected. The means of collection may be in writing, audio or videotaping, electronic data entry or other means.370 Viewing personal information is also a collection.371 Collection can mean examining personal information, recording, or photocopying it. Although each form of collection is not equal or interchangeable, each represent a collection with its own inherent privacy challenges.372 Collection does not require that the information be recorded immediately or within a certain period of time. It is conceivable that one can view or hear any matter of information through the day and later recall it and proceed to record it.373 When challenged on its collection of personal information, a government institution must be able to demonstrate that the collection of personal information was for a specific purpose, necessary and lawful in accordance with sections 25 and 26 of FOIP. 369 SK OIPC 2009-2010 Annual Report at Appendix I, Definitions, p. 53. See also British Columbia Government Services, FOIPPA Policy Definitions at Accessed April 23, 2020. 370 Service Alberta, FOIP Guidelines and Practices: 2009 Edition, Chapter 7, p. 236. 371 SK OIPC Investigation Reports F-2013-003 at [25], H-2010-001 at [89], 282-2016 at [10], 199-2019 at [23]. See also PEI IPC Investigation Report No. PP-20-001 at [33] and AB IPC Order H2007-002 at [72], [89] and [90]. 372 AB IPC news release, Collection of Driver’s Licence Numbers Under Privacy Sector Privacy Legislation (December 8, 2008). See also SK OIPC Investigation Report 199-2019 at [22]. 373 SK OIPC Investigation Report 199-2019 at [23].