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. 28 Consent must be obtained from the individual in a meaningful way. For example, it is not enough to seek verbal or written consent if no information is provided regarding what the consent is needed for. When gathering express informed consent, government institutions can follow the following best practices: 1. Ensure individuals know why their personal information is being collected. To be informed, the explanations given to individuals should be clear and complete. Stating that the information is being collected for ‘research purposes’ or ‘to process a claim’ would be too vague and not specific enough. 2. Ensure individuals know how their personal information will be used. Individuals should be fully informed of all the ways the organization intends to use their personal information. Incomplete and vague explanations leave individuals without the proper knowledge to consent. In addition, long written explanations (more than 1 page) that use highly technical language make it less likely that individuals will read it or understand it. Make it ‘user friendly’. Consider providing information, brochures or fact sheets that can be taken home by individuals that outline the potential purposes of collection and uses of the information. 3. Ensure that individuals know that they have the right to refuse or revoke their consent. Consent from individuals must be given freely and without threat or coercion. The threat of not receiving a necessary service, if consent is not given, interferes with an individual’s right to refuse or revoke their consent. Employees should be aware of when consent is required to deliver a service so they can properly inform individuals of the consequences of not providing consent. Some services can still be provided without the full collection and use of personal information. Employees require clarity on what is essential and what is not. Consider developing policies and procedures to guide employees in this regard. 4. Ensure your organization has clear policies and procedures regarding the collection, use or disclosure of personal information with appropriate enforcement policies. Improper behavior on the part of employees is not uncommon when it comes to the use of consent forms. Organizations should ensure its employees do not pressure, coerce or