Annual Report to Parliament 2014 – Report on the
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
Individuals make written complaints to the OPC about violations of the
. Our Intake Unit reviews these complaints, and, if necessary, follows up with
complainants to seek clarification and gather additional information.
If complainants have not raised their concerns directly with the organization, we will ask them to do so in order to try to resolve the issue directly and
then to come back to us if they are unsuccessful.
The Intake Unit is also sometimes able to immediately address issues. For example, if we have previously investigated the type of issue being raised,
and have determined that the activities are compliant with PIPEDA, an Intake Officer will explain this to the individual. Or, if we have previously
determined that we do not have jurisdiction over the organization or type of activity, an Intake Officer will explain this and, where appropriate, refer the
individual to other resources or sources of assistance.
In cases where the Intake Unit is not able to immediately address issues (and once the necessary information is gathered), the matter is accepted by our
Office as a formal complaint. The Privacy Commissioner may also initiate a complaint if satisfied there are reasonable grounds to investigate a matter.
The Commissioner may decide to
decline to investigate a complaint if
certain conditions under subsection
12(1) of the
are met. The
complainant may request that the
Commissioner reconsider this decision.
Transferred to Investigation
If Early Resolution is
unsuccessful, the case is
transferred to an investigator.
A complaint may be discontinued if, for example, a
complainant decides not to pursue it or cannot be located, or
if certain conditions, described in subsection 12.2 of the
tion and persuasion.
Investigations provide the factual basis for the Commissioner to deter-
mine whether individuals’ rights have been contravened under PIPEDA.
The investigator writes to the organization, outlining the substance of
the complaint. The investigator gathers the facts related to the complaint
through representations from both parties and through independent
inquiry, interviews of witnesses, and review of documentation. Through
the Privacy Commissioner or his delegate, the investigator has the
authority to receive evidence, enter premises where appropriate, and
examine or obtain copies of records found on any premises.
Sent to Investigation
Complaints of a serious, systemic
or otherwise complex nature – for
example, uncertain jurisdictional
matters, multiple allegations or
complex technical issues – are
assigned to an investigator.
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Sent to Early Resolution Officer
Complaints which we believe could potentially be resolved
quickly are sent to an Early Resolution Officer. These com-
plaints include matters where our Office has already made
findings on the issues; where the organization has already
dealt with the allegations to our satisfaction; or where it
seems possible that allegations can be easily remedied.