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. 65 8 Where a record contains information to which an applicant is refused access, the head shall give access to as much of the record as can reasonably be severed without disclosing the information to which the applicant is refused access. However, government institutions should be aware that in some cases, removal of an individual’s name alone does not necessarily qualify personal information as sufficiently deidentified. The ability to re-identify is increased when information contains unique characteristics (e.g., unusual occupation, unusual death, or event) or where external sources of information can be used to identify individuals (e.g., voter registration records, newspapers, obituaries, social media sites, and other public registries).184 For more on deidentification, see De-identified information later in this Chapter. The names of employees of a government institution and their respective work telephone numbers are not personal information under FOIP.185 IPC Findings In Review Report 2003-042, the Commissioner found that names severed from an internal memo by the Ministry of Social Services was appropriate because releasing the names would identify that the individuals were recipients of social assistance and thus disclose financial history of the individuals. In Investigation Report F-2012-003, the Commissioner found that subsection 24(1)(k)(i) of FOIP applied to the names of four employees listed on a two-page audit report, because the names appeared with other personal information pursuant to subsection 24(1)(b) of FOIP. The report contained the total number of hours worked, rate of pay per hour, total amount paid, total vacation paid and the total gross and net paid for each employee. The employer was not a government institution, so subsection 24(2)(a) of FOIP was found not to apply. In Investigation Report LA-2013-002, the Commissioner found that photographs of individuals are personal in nature. Further, photographs of identifiable employees plus their names, qualified as personal information pursuant to subsection 23(1)(k)(i) of The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. In Investigation Report F-2014-001, the Commissioner found that the information contained in a document titled, “Decision of the Appeals Department”, qualified as the complainant’s 184 SK OIPC Review Report F-2014-005 at [22] to [23]. 185 SK OIPC Review Reports F-2005-001 at [29], F-2008-001 at [87].