To file a complaint under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)

Privacy Statement – Online Complaint Form

How do we handle your personal information?

If you fill out a complaint form, you provide the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada with personal information.  The following Qs and As explain how we handle your personal information.

Why is this information collected?

The information provided in this form is collected in order to allow us to process your complaint. The information is collected under the authority of the Privacy Act or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), depending on whether your complaint relates to a federal department or institution or a private sector organization.

How will this information be used?

Any personal information we receive from the online complaint form is only provided to those members of our staff who require it in order to respond to your complaint.  The information will be used to allow us to process your complaint and administer the Privacy Act or PIPEDA.

The information may also be used for the following purposes:

  • Statistical analyses for reporting and management purposes
  • Reporting to Parliament (for example, the Privacy Commissioner submits annual reports to Parliament which may include select, anonymized case summaries of investigations)
  • Anonymized reports of investigative findings may be published on our website.
  • Conducting audits and identifying and addressing systemic privacy issues
  • Quality control to ensure consistency in the investigative process
  • Training of investigators
  • Research and litigation

If you do not provide all of the required information on this form, our Office will not be able to begin processing your complaint.

Will personal information be disclosed?

Limited personal information will be shared with the organization that is the subject of the complaint.

The OPC does not otherwise disclose the information you provide unless such a disclosure is in accordance with subsection 8(2) of the Privacy Act, which is reserved for limited situations. In the case of such a disclosure, the OPC will only disclose the information that is required and, wherever possible, will inform you.

Will I be able to access the information provided? And can I correct any errors?

You have the right to request access to your personal information and also to request corrections if you believe that your personal information is erroneous or incomplete.

Where will the information be stored?

The information will be stored in our Office's complaint processing system in the personal information bank number OPC PPU 005. A description of this and other banks of personal information held by federal government departments and agencies can be found in: Info Source , a public directory which is available online.

The information you submit when filing an online privacy complaint will be encrypted (a secure means of transmission) when it is sent electronically to our Office.  It is temporarily stored on the servers hosted by a third party, but is not saved on their hard disks.  As soon as the complaint is submitted to our Office, it is deleted from the third-party servers.

How will the information be protected?

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is committed to protecting the privacy of individuals visiting its Web site. All personal information provided when you fill out the complaint form is protected under the Privacy Act.

The information you submit when filing an online privacy complaint will be encrypted (a secure means of transmission) when it is sent electronically to our Office. 

Because we cannot guarantee the security of electronic mail, we do not recommend sending sensitive personal information or complaints via e-mail.

If you are concerned about the confidentiality of information, including your personal information, in transit, you should send it to us by secure means. You can do that by using our secure online complaint form or by sending your documents by mail.

How long will the information be retained?

Information provided in order to file a complaint under PIPEDA is retained for 10 years after a file is completed (including any court action) and then destroyed.

Information provided in order to file a complaint about time delays under the Privacy Act are retained for two years after a file is completed (including any court action) and then destroyed; information provided in order to file all other types of complaints under the Privacy Act are retained for five years after a file is completed and then destroyed. 

Who can I contact if I have any questions?

Questions about privacy issues may be directed to our Chief Privacy Officer, who is also the Director of our Access to Information and Privacy Unit.  You can contact the Chief Privacy Officer on our toll-free line at 1-800-282-1376, or by postal mail at:

30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 1H3

Please see our Website Privacy Notice for our online privacy statement and corporate Privacy Policy for our overall information management practices.

Fill out the Online Complaint Form