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. 34 IPC Findings In Review Report LA-2014-002, the Commissioner found that a severed portion of handwritten notes consisting of two words and one symbol did not link to an identifiable individual. Accordingly, the Commissioner found insufficient evidence it constituted personal information and recommended this portion be released. 2. Is the information personal in nature? Use of the word “personal” as the adjective to describe the type of information being considered in subsection 24(1) of FOIP is a clear indication that the Legislature intended for the provision to cover information that is “personal” in nature. To ignore this would be to fail to follow the modern approach to statutory interpretation. In John Doe v. Ontario (Finance), [2014] 2 SCR 3, 2014 SCC 36 (CanLII), the court reiterated that the modern approach requires that words be “read in their entire context, according to their grammatical and ordinary sense, harmoniously with the scheme and object of the Act and the intention of the legislature”.79 Personal in nature requires that the information reveal something personal about the identifiable individual.80 Personal means of, affecting or belonging to a particular person; of or concerning a person’s private rather than professional life.81 Therefore, information that relates to an individual in a professional, official, or business capacity could only qualify if the information revealed something personal about the individual for example, information that fits the definition of employment history.82 The Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner’s office asks the following questions: 79 SK OIPC Review Report 082-2019, 083-2019 at [93]. 80 ON IPC Orders R-980015 at p. 17, PO-2420 at p. 3 and PO-2060 at p. 2. First relied on in SK OIPC Review Report F-2010-001 at [126]. 81 Pearsall, Judy, Concise Oxford Dictionary, 10th Ed. at p. 1065, (Oxford University Press). 82 Originated from ON IPC Orders P-257, P-427, P-1412, P-1621, R-980015, MO-1550-F, PO-2225, P1409, PO-2420 and PO-2271. See also SK OIPC Review Report F-2010-001 at [126].