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Page Background

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada was established in 1983 following the

passage of the

Privacy Act

, which governs the personal information-handling practices of

federal departments and agencies.

Beginning in 2001, the duties of our Office were extended to the private sector under the

Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act

(PIPEDA). The legislation came

into force in stages between 2001 and 2004.

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada, who is independent of government, reports directly to


As a public advocate for the privacy rights of Canadians, the Commissioner carries out the

following activities:

Investigating complaints and issuing

reports with recommendations to

federal government institutions and

private sector organizations to remedy

situations, as appropriate;

Pursuing legal action before Federal

Courts where matters remain


Assessing compliance with obligations

contained in the

Privacy Act


PIPEDA through the conduct of

independent audit and review activities,

and publicly report on findings;

Advising on, and reviewing, privacy

impact assessments of new and existing

government initiatives;

Providing legal and policy analyses and

expertise to help guide Parliament’s

review of evolving legislation to ensure

respect for individuals’ right to privacy;

Responding to inquiries of

Parliamentarians, individual Canadians

and organizations seeking information

and guidance and taking proactive steps

to inform them of emerging privacy


About the Office of the

Privacy Commissioner of Canada