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. 141 Detecting, investigating, preventing, or prosecuting an offence Much personal information about a person who is under investigation is collected from other sources. Reasons for this include the fact that investigators may not wish to alert the individual concerned that an investigation is taking place, the individual would not provide accurate information, or the individual might alter or destroy evidence.414 However, government institutions should not collect excessive amounts of personal information. Adherence to the data minimization principle is still needed even where there is authority to collect directly or indirectly. In fact, authority will not be found for the collection where this principle is not adhered to.415 Subsection 26(1)(c)(i) of FOIP provides that a government institution can collect personal information indirectly for the purpose of detecting, investigating, preventing or prosecuting an offence. The government institution may be involved in law enforcement activities and not the law enforcement body itself that is conducting the detection, investigation, prevention or prosecution of the offence (i.e., the police may be conducting the law enforcement activities and the government institution is involved). The provision only requires that the personal information is indirectly collected “in the course of” or “pertains to” law enforcement activities. Offence means a violation of the law; a crime.416 Detection is the act of discovering or revealing something that is hidden or barely perceptible, especially to solve a crime.417 Investigation can include police, security or administrative investigations or a combination of these. Investigation has been defined, in general terms, as a systematic process of examination, inquiry and observation.418 • A police investigation is one carried out by the police, or other persons who carry out a policing function that involves investigations.419 For example, a police 414 Service Alberta, FOIP Guidelines and Practices: 2009 Edition, Chapter 7 at p. 244. 415 See SK OIPC Investigation Report 074-2018, 075-2018 at [43]. 416 Garner, Bryan A., 2019. Black’s Law Dictionary, 11th Edition. St. Paul, Minn.: West Group at p. 1300. 417 Garner, Bryan A., 2009. Black’s Law Dictionary, Deluxe 10th Edition. St. Paul, Minn.: West Group at p. 543. 418 Service Alberta, FOIP Guidelines and Practices: 2009 Edition, Chapter 4 at p. 146. 419 Service Alberta, FOIP Guidelines and Practices: 2009 Edition, Chapter 4 at p. 146.